Baghdad wants regional coordination on countering extremism

Iraq is hoping to work with its neighbours to counter ISIS ideology, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said on Tuesday.

“Overcoming the ideology will take a long time, requiring broad coordination with neighbouring countries and other countries that want to help Iraq and are serious in fighting terror,” he said during his weekly press conference.

“Therefore, we are still committed to all agreements: bilateral or multilateral,” he added.

Iraqi President Barham Salih is currently on a tour of Gulf nations. He has raised security and efforts to counter extremism in his meetings in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait.

In Iraq, the new prime minister and commander-in-chief of the armed forces held meetings with the security sector this week, including military leaders and the counter-terror forces.

His predecessor declared ISIS defeated in the country nearly December last year, but the militants remain a serious security threat. Iraq’s armed forces carry out daily operations against ISIS remnants and sleeper cells.

“We monitor the current security situation and ensure Iraqis that security forces are in full control,” Abdul-Mahdi said on Tuesday.

He praised Iraqi forces and Peshmerga for “controlling the situation well.”

Acknowledging a recent resurgence of the group on the border with Syria, Abdul-Mahdi said Iraqi forces are in full control of the situation.

Some 2,000 Iraqi citizens are currently estimated to be among ISIS ranks, he added. Source