Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday announced the end of a three-year military campaign by the country’s military to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group.

“Our enemy wanted to kill our civilisation, but we have won through our unity and our determination. We have triumphed in little time,” Abadi was quoted as saying by AFP.

He later tweeted that the the entire length of the Iraq-Syria border had been secured. “We defeated Daesh through our unity and sacrifice for the nation,” the prime minister said, referring to the Islamic State group by its Arabic acronym. “Long live Iraq and its people.”

The Iraqi Army and Shiite fighters from the Popular Mobilisation Forces on November 23 launched the operation to drive the terrorists out of the desert region bordering Syria. The Army had then said that the objective was to prevent the terrorists from hiding in the desert region and using it as a base for attacks in the future.

The vast arid area between the Euphrates and Tigiris rivers, known as Al-Jazirah, has been a hotbed of insurgency since former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was ousted by the United States in 2003.