Iraq‘s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the Arab country wants to wrest control over the border with Syria in coordination with Damascus, as the Iraqi military along with pro-government fighters are pushing the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group to its final days in Mosul, the terrorists‘ last urban stronghold in Iraq.
The Iraqi premier made the remarks during his weekly presser in the capital Baghdad on Tuesday, adding that the government would definitely not allow Daesh terrorists or any other armed group operating in Iraq to cross into neighboring Syria. Abadi said Baghdad would not enter the years-long crisis in Syria.
His comments came eight days after paramilitary fighters, consisting of some 40 mainly Shia Muslim groups, reached the Syrian border in the north in an attempt to block Daesh from crossing the common border.
Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, fell to Daesh in 2014, when the terrorist group began its campaign of death and destruction in Iraq, making the city its de facto capital in the Arab country. However, Iraqi forces took control of its eastern part in January and the push for the western side, separated from the east by the Tigris River, began in February.
Daesh currently holds less than nine percent of western Mosul and is on the brink of total defeat in the city. Blocking the Syrian border means terrorists would no longer receive reinforcement and ammunition from Raqqah, the terror group’s de facto capital in Syria, which is also waiting to be totally liberated by the advancing Syrian troops.
The full liberation of Mosul would likely spell the end for the Iraqi half of Daesh’s so-called caliphate.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Abadi said Iraqi forces had never used chemical weapons in their counter-terrorism operations, instead they had used smoke grenades, which might be easily mistaken for chemical arms.
Gruesome violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since Daesh terrorists mounted an offensive there in the summer of 2014, and took control of portions of the Iraqi territory.
The terrorists have been committing heinous crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.