iraqi pm will visit both turkey and iran
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Amid UN warnings

Iraqi PM will visit both Turkey and Iran

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Arab Today, arab today Iraqi PM will visit both Turkey and Iran

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Baghdad - Najla Al Taee

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Tuesday he was heading for visits to Turkey and Iran, completing a regional tour that included Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. Abadi said during his weekly ministerial meeting that the visits to Turkey and Iran would “convey Iraq’s vision of the region’s future”, as quoted by Shafaq News website. In Turkey, he will discuss “water shares and common borders”, the website quoted Abadi saying.

Iran is the most ardent political and military backer of the Shia-led Iraqi government and the paramilitary troops fighting Islamic State militants. Turkish and Iraqi political stances have also converged over the recent months in rejecting a referendum on independence run by Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region in September.

Commenting on the situation in Kirkuk, Abadi said Kurdish Peshmerga troops “cooperated with the federal troops and had not responded to calls for escalation”. He added that “any resistance to the joint {government} forces protects corruption and petroleum smuggling”.

Abadi’s remarks came as news reports told of clashes between Iraqi forces, backed by the Popular Mobilization Forces, on one side, and Peshmerga on the other side in Makhmur, north of Nineveh.

Iraqi troops, backed by Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), took over Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters earlier this month, fulfilling instructions made earlier by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to retake areas where sovereignty is disputed with Kurdistan Region’s Government. The military takeover came after Kurdistan voted in September to secede from Iraq.

On the other hand, Three Iraqi army soldiers died Tuesday in clashes with Kurdish Peshmerga forces north of Mosul, according to an army source.

Maj. Abbas al-Bayyati told Anadolu Agency that a force of the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, backed by the 9th armoured division, advanced towards the  town of Tel Saqf, a mainly Christian town north of Mosul, to impose federal security control there, but was met with fire from Peshmerga.

Bayyati told the agency three army members were killed while two others were injured. He said there were losses on the Peshmerga side, too, but could not give an exact toll. He was quoted by the agency saying that Peshmerga troops will be handled as an enemy if they reject the call to withdraw.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell denied Kurdish media reports of clashes between Popular Mobilization Forces and Peshmerga in Mahmoudia and Rabia, Mosul, were inaccurate.

Iraqi troops, backed by Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), took over Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters earlier this month, fulfilling instructions made earlier by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to retake areas where sovereignty is disputed with Kurdistan Region’s Government. The military takeover came after Kurdistan voted in September to secede from Iraq.

In the same context, Iraqi troops have airdropped hundreds of thousands of messages on Islamic State’s last two strongholds in western Anbar with threats to the militants and recommendations to civilians, military media said.

The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell issued a statement on Wednesday saying “air force dropped leaflets on Qaim, Rawa and surrounding regions.”

The statement added that messages to civilians stated that security troops are coming to free them, urging them to stay away from the enemy.

The military also called on citizens who pointed their guns against troops to “head toward any house in Qaim and raise a white flag on it, when the troops invade.”

Similar messages were reportedly dropped earlier this month on the two towns.

Na’im al-Ka’oud, head of the Anbar provincial council’s security committee, was quoted this week as saying that military Operations to retake Rawa and Qaim, the Islamic State’s last two bastions in western Anbar, will be launched by end of the month.

Iraqi troops were able to return life back to normal in the biggest cities of Anbar including Fallujah, Ramadi and others after recapturing them in 2015 and 2016. However, Anbar’s western towns of Qaim and Rawa have been held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic “Caliphate”.

Iraqi army announced the total recapture of the town of Annah and neighboring Rayhana area last month. Troops also liberated Akashat region, between Rutba town, on borders with Jordan, and Qaim, on borders with Syria.

 

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