Iraqi PM vows to clear IS this year

Munich, Feb 13 (IANS) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi vowed on Friday that Iraqi security forces would clear terrorists of the Islamic State militants in his country this year.

Addressing audience at the Munich Security Conference, Al-Abadi said Iraqi forces liberated “more than half” of areas occupied by the terrorists.

“We intend this year to make it the final year and the last year for the existence of Daesh in Iraq,” he was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

Anti-terrorism is one of the key issues discussed at the annual security forum which started on Friday and lasts until Sunday. Other topics include Syrian conflicts, refugees, climate change and transatlantic relations.

Al-Abadi said reforms that his government had undertaken improved efficiency of Iraqi forces.

“Daesh is losing ground. They are not only losing militarily in combating our forces, but they are losing ground among Iraqi population,” he said.

The minister added that terrorism is not only an Iraqi problem, but also an international one. Conflicts in Syria could also cause terrorists to flee into Iraq.

He said an agreement of “cessation of hostilities” that top diplomats reached early Friday morning “must be successful”.

Al-Abadi also warned that Turkish combat troops’ presence inside Iraq without his government’s permission was “unacceptable” and “very dangerous”.

“If you wish to help Iraq, it is up to us to decide in what way you are to help us,” he said.

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