Iraq PM: More support needed to ‘finish’ ISIS

Haider al-Abadi said the ‘marked increase’ in airstrikes, weapons deliveries and training has helped but more is required

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Iraq’s prime minister said his country needs greater support from the international coalition so it can “finish” the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Associated Press reported Monday.

Haider al-Abadi said the “marked increase” in airstrikes, weapons deliveries and training has helped roll back the extremist group, but added that more is required to rid Iraq of it once and for all.

There has already been an increase “but we want to see more,” he told journalists before boarding a flight to Washington where he will meet with President Barack Obama.

Al-Abadi also said that he will use the visit to the United States to seek increased air support and arms deliveries to aid Baghdad’s battle against the extremist group.

Al-Abadi is expected to request that Iraq be allowed to defer payment for arms purchases, given the country’s major shortage of funds due to a decline in oil prices and the cost of its war against ISIS.

Speaking about Iran, Al-Abadi said that his country’s relationship with the Islamic Republic was “very balanced” and that those at odds with Iran should not “throw their problems on us.”

Both the United States and Iran are helping Iraq battle ISIS, but insist they are not coordinating their actions on the battlefield.

The United States is leading an international coalition that is carrying out air strikes against ISIS and also providing arms and training for Iraqi security forces.

The militant group led an offensive that overran large parts of Iraq last June.

[With AFP and AP]

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