Iraqi PM: Iraq will retake Mosul 'soon'

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The Iraqi army is coordinating with the Peshmerga forces and the U.S.-led coalition to regain control over Mosul, a stronghold of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), said Iraqi PM Haidar Abadi on Friday in a joint press conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

The liberation of Iraq’s second-largest city, which fell under ISIS’ control in June last year, would come “soon,” but with less casualties, said Abadi.

“We do not want to go into a war in Mosul in which the aftermaths are invisible,” he told reporters, according to Rudaw media Network, a Kurdish media outlet. “But I can pledge to the people of Mosul that we are going to liberate the city soon,” he added.

Abadi arrived in Berlin on Friday to solicit more support for the fight against ISIS.

“We have a strong bilateral relationship with Germany, and Germany helps us in terms of security,” Abadi said.

“Germany has supplied the Peshmerga with advanced weapons, and we still need advanced weapons from Germany.”
Merkel said that her country will continue to support Iraq’s battle with ISIS.

“We have decided to support a comprehensive governmental structure in Iraq,” she said.

“Beside military assistance, we will help Iraq economically,” she said, also pledging closer ties with Ankara. “In order to defeat ISIS, we have to deepen our relationships with Turkey,” she said.

Merkel also added that she would be meeting with the Kurdistan region President Massoud Barzani, who is in Germany to attend the annual Munich Security Conference, Rudaw reported.

The prime minister’s comments came a day after he ordered an end to a years-old nightly curfew in Baghdad in a bid to ease restrictions on daily life despite persistent violence.

Lifting the curfew is a major change to a longstanding policy aimed at curbing violence in the capital by limiting movement at night, which has failed to stop the frequent bombings that hit Baghdad.

"The prime minister ordered that the curfew in the city of Baghdad be completely lifted starting from this Saturday," said Brigadier General Saad Maan, the spokesman for the Baghdad Operations Command.

Abadi wants there "to be normal life as much as possible, despite the existence of a state of war," his spokesman Rafid Jaboori said, referring to the battle against ISIS.

This is "part of the response to terrorism and the war against it," he said.

[With AFP]

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