We will eliminate IS group within a year, says Iraqi president

Ahram Online , Saturday 28 Mar 2015

Iraqi President Fuad Masum has said that he opposes Saudi military intervention in Yemen, arguing that it won't not help the people

Iraqi president Fuad Masum
Iraqi president Fuad Masum

Iraqi President Fuad Masum stated that his country will do what it takes to eliminate the IS group within a year, during his speech at the first working session of the 26th Arab League summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Masum said that the summit meets at a time of ongoing unrest which he argued is a result of extremist organisations carrying out acts of terrorism in the Arab region and entire world.

He gave the example of the Charlie Hebdo attack in France and the Bardo attack in Tunisia, as well as condemning the Islamic State group's destruction of the ancient Assyrian museum in Mosul, Iraq.

Masum further condemned what he described as genocide against the Christian minority in Iraq, also executed by the Islamic State group.

However, he made it clear that he takes pride in the Iraqi armed forces and their success in regaining control of many of the cities that were captured by the IS group last June.

The IS group pushed towards Baghdad in June after capturing several key Iraqi provinces, though since then the Iraqi army have been attempting to push them back in various towns and cities, including Tikrit, the birth place of former president Saddam Hussein.

"We will eliminate the IS group within a year...The armed forces will soon regain control of all Iraq," Masum said.

The Iraqi president called on Arab states to support his country, adding that international support is also needed.

Commenting on the Saudi-led operation in Yemen, Masum said that moderate resistance is the solution to the crisis in Yemen.

"An international intervention will not serve the Yemeni people," he asserted.

Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari on Thursday opposed Saudi-led air strikes on the Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen, highlighting that military intervention is not the solution.

Al-Jaafari, whose Shia-led government is fighting Sunni jihadists in Iraq with Western and Iranian backing, said he supported a "peaceful" approach to the Yemen crisis, AFP reported.

Masum also pointed to the troubles in Syria and Libya, saying that the unrest in the Arab World helps to fuel extremism.

He also commented on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict saying that "We stand firm in supporting the Palestinian state and have supported the Palestinian people's suffrage since 1948.''

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