Iraq Victory Day is celebrated on December 10 every year in Iraq. It is marked as a public holiday and commemorates Iraq’s victory over the Islamic State (ISIS), an extremist, Islamic, rebel uprising in Iraq and neighboring Syria, in December 2017. Iraqi Prime Minister at the time, Haider al-Abadi declared the final victory over the Islamic State after Iraqi forces drove the last remnants of ISIS from the country. This happened three years after the militant group apprehended around a third of Iraq’s territory. The announcement came two days after the Russian military announced the defeat of the militants in neighboring Syria. The U.S., NATO, Russia, and Iran were instrumental allies in helping Iraq win the fight against ISIS.
History of Iraq Victory Day
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh, emerged from the remnants of al Qaeda in Iraq and was founded by Abu Musab al Zarqawi in 2004. After the surge of U.S. troops to Iraq in 2007, it faded into obscurity for several years but began to reemerge in 2011. Over the next few years, it took advantage of the growing instability in Iraq and Syria to carry out attacks in both nations and bolster its ranks.
The group moved on to change its name to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2013. In June 2014, ISIS launched an offensive on Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq. On June 29, ISIS leader at the time, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi announced the formation of a caliphate stretching from Aleppo in Syria to Diyala in Iraq and renamed the group the Islamic State. A number of nations fought with Iraq to take down ISIS and several efforts were made to liberate the nation from the shackles of the Islamic State. The U.S. alone launched more than 8,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria leading to ISIS suffering key losses along Syria’s border with Turkey. By the end of 2015, Iraqi forces made progress in recapturing Ramadi but ISIS made gains near Aleppo in Syria and still firmly held Raqqa and other strongholds.
By December 2017, ISIS had lost 95 percent of its territory, including its two biggest properties, Mosul (Iraq’s second-largest city) and the northern Syrian city of Raqqa (its nominal capital). Then Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the Islamic State in Iraq on December 9, 2017, leading to Iraq Victory day being celebrated on December 10.
Iraq Victory Day timeline
ISIS is formed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi from the remnants of al Qaeda.
U.S. troops move to Iraq, making ISIS fade into obscurity for several years.
ISIS takes advantage of the growing instability in Iraq and Syria to carry out attacks in both nations and bolster its ranks.
Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s Prime Minister at the time, declares victory over the Islamic State.
Iraq Victory Day FAQs
What’s the most important holiday in Iraq?
The country’s independence day is celebrated on October 3.
What is the group behind ISIS?
It comprises the Sunni jihadist group which also calls itself the ‘caliphate’ and claims to have authority over all Muslims.
What year was ISIS defeated?
ISIS was defeated in Iraq in 2017.
How to Observe Iraq Victory Day
Read a book
Read a book on the events that happened in Iraq. This would help you gain more knowledge about the Iraq war against ISIS.
Watch a documentary
Watch a documentary about the Iraq war against ISIS. This would help you understand just how much was won and lost.
Join the rally
There is a rally carried out every year since 2018 to celebrate Iraq Victory Day. Join the rally live or via broadcast to appreciate the sacrifices of those who fought in the war.
5 Facts About Iraq
It is multilingual
Iraqis speak Arabic, Kurdish, Turkmen, Assyrian and Armenian.
Baghdad is its capital city
The capital of Iraq is Baghdad.
The life expectancy is 70 years
In Iraq, the life expectancy is 70 years.
Its population stands at 40.22 million
Iraq’s population as at 2020 was 40.22 million people.
Not all adults can read
In Iraq, about 74% of adults can read.
Why Iraq Victory Day is Important
It reminds us of recent history
Iraq Victory Day reminds everyone of the recent past. The triumph of ISIS should not be forgotten as the fight continues today.
It inspires those at the front lines
As ISIS still exists, celebrating Iraq Victory Day gives more strength and courage to those who fight on the front lines. If it was done before, it can be done again.
It celebrates heroes
The heroes of the fight against ISIS should not be forgotten and Iraq Victory Day helps to appreciate their efforts in making Iraq a free state. Respecting heroes gives more courage to the younger generation to do more.
Iraq Victory Day dates