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Iraq Says Ready to Cooperate with Neighbors in Combating ISIS

Iraq Says Ready to Cooperate with Neighbors in Combating ISIS

Thursday, 21 February, 2019 - 09:15
Iraqi forces arrive to take part in a victory celebration after defeating ISIS in Mosul, Iraq July 2, 2017. Reuters
Baghdad - Hamza Mustafa
Iraq is ready to cooperate with regional countries on military training and combating ISIS’ ideology, head of Iraqi National Security Falih al-Fayyadh has announced.

He reiterated that there are no foreign forces or military bases in Iraq, asserting that Baghdad refuses to be a tool or a platform for attacks on other nations.

Fayyadh was delivering a speech on behalf of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi at the opening of the Fourth International Conference to Fight ISIS Media and Ideology.

Iraq cooperates with other countries in the war on terrorism, he said.

Referring to the controversial presence of foreign troops on Iraqi soil, Fayyadh said the International Coalition in Iraq is cooperating in the field of training and consultation. “We will not accept military bases and there are no ground forces on Iraqi territory.”

Spokesman for the Conference, Haidar Jabr al-Aboudi, told Asharq al-Awsat that Baghdad is grateful for the countries that supported it in the war against ISIS remnants.

He assured that the unity of the Iraqi people will prevent the return of extremism through ISIS remnants.

“Iraq is a pillar in the region’s stability,” and mutual coordination and cooperation between Baghdad and the international community in security and information falls in line with Iraqi sovereignty, said the spokesman.

The Conference was held as the risk of ISIS’s re-emergence has created controversy, especially after the organization executed six out of 15 people who were abducted in al-Karbala province in the desert between Najaf and Al-Anbar provinces.

Top official of Binaa Alliance and MP of Fatah Bloc Naim al-Aboudi ruled out an ISIS return.

In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, Aboudi asserted that the current situation, which enjoys military, social, political and media cohesion against ISIS and other terrorist organizations, differs from 2014 when the group proclaimed its self-styled “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.

He called for security forces to be more mobilized in order to carry out pre-emptive operations and fight the extremist ideology.

However, head of Reform and Reconstruction Alliance Ammar al-Hakim warned of the consequences of the terrorist organization’s return. In a statement, Hakim reiterated the importance of securing all Iraqi territories and called for improved intelligence assessment to bring the perpetrators to justice for their heinous crimes.

For its part, Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) urged intensified efforts to monitor ISIS movements.

The Commission indicated that the resurgence of ISIS is a real challenge for security forces to expose sleeper cells which use caves and tunnels to hide in desert areas.

The statement added that in the past few days, 19 people have been abducted in Umm al-Jadaan on the road between Arar and Nukhaib.  

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