ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday stated that Iraq would take “all necessary measures” to prevent-cross border assaults by the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.
“Daesh are present in eastern Syria, at the Iraqi border. I will take all necessary measures if they threaten the security of Iraq,” Abadi said during his weekly press briefing, using the Arabic pejorative for IS. He mentioned that he had discussed it with US President Donald Trump during a telephone call on Sunday.
In coordination with the US-led collation, Iraqi warplanes carried out at least one air strike on the IS targets in Syrian territory in 2017, with the approval of the Syrian government.
The Iraqi Premier stated that he had asked the military command “to lay out all possible plans, as I am keen to protect Iraqi citizens” from cross-border attacks.
Baghdad has maintained good ties with Iran, Russia, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as enjoying support from the US-led coalition.
In December, Abadi declared victory over the jihadist group, but the militants continue to carry out assassinations, ambushes, and bombings across the country.
Last year, Iraqi forces took control of Mosul, the de facto capital of IS, with the help of the Kurdish Peshmerga and the support of the US-led coalition. The liberation of the city put an end to the cross-border ‘caliphate’ IS had announced in mid-2014, when they took over large swaths of land in northern and western Iraq.
Editing by John J. Catherine