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Allies ‘not doing enough’ to counter IS

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Published on June 05, 2015 with No Comments

Iraqi PM says coalition must stem flow of foreign fighters

Iraq’s Prime Minister has accused the international coalition fighting Islamic State of not doing enough to tackle the group, and said important members such as Saudi Arabia are not curbing the flow of foreign fighters to his country.

Western and Middle Eastern countries in the coalition are meeting in Paris. Part of their agenda is to persuade the Iraqi government to repair its relationship with Iraq’s Sunni minority.

The meeting follows the Iraqi government’s biggest military setback in nearly a year. On May 17, Islamic State seized Ramadi from the weakened Iraqi army. The capital of the overwhelmingly Sunni Anbar province is just 90 km west of Baghdad. Since then, government troops and Shia militias have been building up positions around the city. Many of Iraq’s minority Sunnis dislike hardline Sunni Islamic State but also fear the Shi’ite militias after years of bloody sectarian strife.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a moderate Shia, can only persuade Sunni tribes to fight Islamic State if he demonstrates that he can control the powerful Shia militias whose military muscle he now depends on.

He said he was confident that the appeal to the Sunni tribes was “on track” and rejected suggestions that Iraq was not doing enough politically.

“To be honest, we need a lot of political work on the part of the coalition countries. We need an explanation why there are so many terrorists from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, Egypt, European countries. If it is due to the political situation in Iraq, why are Americans, French and German fighters in Iraq?” he said.


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