Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has warned against foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs as the army is gearing up to launch a full-scale offensive to liberate the Daesh-held city of Mosul, the Takfiri group’s last major bastion in the Arab country.
During a press conference in the northern city of Kirkuk on Friday, the Iraqi premier also expressed surprise at some countries’ eagerness to meddle in the internal affairs of Iraq.
“Why these countries did not intervene when Daesh entered our country, destroyed our cities, displaced our children and captured our women?” Abadi added.
Abadi’s comments come as Iraq and Turkey are currently engaged in a war of words over the deployment of Turkish troops in northern Iraq last year without Baghdad’s consent. Ankara has pledged to take part in the Mosul offensive, drawing a harsh response from Baghdad, which considers the incursion as a “blatant violation” of its sovereignty.
Iraq has also condemned Saudi Arabia for calling on Baghdad to abandon the Popular Mobilization Units in the fight against Daesh terrorists.
Abadi went on to say that his country would not allow such “suspicious and unacceptable” interference to happen, adding, “We want to free our lands by ourselves and those states must not interfere in our internal affairs.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Abadi asked the residents of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, to welcome the liberating forces, saying that the troops would come “to protect the people and will never allow attack on any civilian.”
The Iraqi prime minister has time and again asserted that all troops participating in the Mosul offensive are from Iraq, and that the US-led coalition would only support the operation.
Washington and dozens of its allies have been carrying out their so-called anti-terror airstrikes against what are claimed to be terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq since September 2015. The campaign, however, has fallen severely short of its avowed aim of dislodging Daesh.
The liberation of Mosul would be a severe blow to Daesh, which has named the city as its so-called headquarters since capturing it in 2014.
The US and Saudi Arabia have reportedly agreed to grant Daesh terrorists free passage from Mosul ahead of the major operation to recapture the northern city.