Within the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi said in a “Fox News Sunday” interview that he thinks his country will defeat Islamic State military forces “within weeks.”
Iraqi and coalition forces have increasingly turned to artillery and airstrikes in their fight against the terrorist organization. Backed by a U.S.-led international coalition, Fox News reported, Iraqi forces earlier this year drove ISIS fighters from the eastern part of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. The fight has now moved to Mosul’s densely populated western neighborhoods.
Al Abadi, in his interview with Fox News Sunday, suggested that former President Barack Obama didn’t want to get involved in the fight against ISIS. He said he thought Obama was forced into the situation when the terror group crossed the Syrian border and occupied 40 percent of Iraq.
Despite current leadership’s attempt to defeat ISIS, Al Abadi said he thought it was unacceptable that Iraq was included in Trump’s original travel ban. He said the U.S. and Iraq are allies.
In 2003, a U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein. The effort lasted roughly eight years, Fox News explained.
“We are allies. We are victims of terrorism,” al Abadi said. “It’s not acceptable to us, especially when you have U.S. soldiers … working with Iraqis in Iraq. It was very tough for them to tell Iraqis, ‘I’m working with you, but I consider you as a threat to the U.S.’ ”
Trump campaigned on a promise to dramatically ramp up the assault on Islamic State militants and has vowed to eradicate ISIS, Fox News reported. His revised travel ban, held up in federal court like the first one, does not include Iraq.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis recently met at the State Department with al Abadi and foreign officials to explore new ideas to expand the fight against ISIS in Mosul.
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