Prime Minister Morrison writing on a notepad at his desk in his prime ministerial office

Territorial defeat of Da’esh

Media release
24 Mar 2019
Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Defence

The Australian Government welcomes the announcement by the Syrian Democratic Forces of the territorial defeat of Da’esh.

The last remaining civilians under Da’esh control in the Middle Euphrates River Valley have been liberated, and the task of removing Da’esh’s control of territory in Iraq and Syria has been completed.

The territorial defeat of Da’esh has been achieved through the tremendous courage and sacrifice of Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces, who have operated with Coalition backing.  Civilians in Syria and Iraq have displayed incredible resilience to overcome the brutality of Da’esh occupation.

The Government commends the professionalism and dedication of Australia’s deployed forces who have made an important contribution to operations against Da’esh forces as part of the 79-member Global Coalition to Defeat Da’esh.

Since September 2014, Australia has made one of the most significant contributions to the Global Coalition. Since the start of operations, on average, around 600 Australian Defence Force personnel are deployed at any one time to the Middle East as part of our support to the coalition.

Despite the significance of the milestone represented by this territorial defeat, it does not represent the end of the fight against Da’esh nor the extremism it embodies. Da’esh continues to pose a security threat in the Middle East region and beyond, including through the propagation of its extreme ideology.

Australia continues to assist the Iraqi Security Forces, at the request of the government of Iraq, to address the continuing threat from Da’esh. This includes Australia’s training mission at Taji near Baghdad, where Australian and New Zealand soldiers have to date trained more than 42,000 members of the ISF in their fight against Da’esh.

Australia will continue to work closely with Coalition partners and the wider international community, using a range of measures, to counter Da’esh.