Iraqi forces have declared northern Iraq clear of Islamic State after retaking the city of Hawija, one of the jihadist group’s last remaining strongholds in the country.
Announcing the liberation, Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, called it a "victory not just for Iraq but for the whole world."
Iraqi forces have driven Isil from nearly all the cities and towns it seized in the summer of 2014, including the country's second largest city, Mosul, which was liberated in July.
The extremists now control just a wedge of territory straddling the Iraq-Syria border and a cluster of towns further south in Anbar province.
"We should chase this terrorist organisation everywhere," Mr Abadi said. "This is a very dangerous organisation that works for spreading instability."
Iraqi officials often declare victory before the fighting has completely ended, and the troops in and around Hawija were likely still clearing mines and booby traps, and flushing out remaining militants.
Iraq launched an offensive on September 21 to dislodge Isil from Hawija, where up to 78,000 people were estimated to had been trapped.
Unlike the battle for Mosul, Isil’s defence melted away quickly in the face of an Iraqi army advance.
Hundreds of fighters surrendered to Kurdish forces in recent weeks after being pushed out of the city by Iraqi troops and allied militias. Footage showed groups of unkempt, dishevelled men handcuffed and kneeling on the ground.
Hawija has long been a bastion for jihadist groups.
US troops nicknamed the city the "Kandahar in Iraq" after it put up fierce resistance to the 2003 US invasion, similar to that in the Taliban's bastion in Afghanistan.
The capture of Hawija brings Iraqi forces into direct contact with Kurdish Peshmerga militia whichs controls Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic region claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Kirkuk shaped up as a flashpoint last month when the KRG included the oil-rich city in a referendum on Kurdish independence which he called unlawful.
"We don't want any aggression or confrontations but the federal authority must be imposed in the disputed areas," Mr Abadi told a news conference in Paris, held with French President Emmanuel Macron.
The prime minister renewed an offer to jointly administer Kirkuk with the Peshmerga, but under the authority of the central government. The Kurds took control of Kirkuk in 2014, when the Iraqi army fled in the face of Isil's advance.
His latest comments suggests he is trying to bring Baghdad back from the brink of a fresh conflict with the Kurds, after threatening the minority with flight bans and punitive sanctions if they did not call off the referendum.