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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Daesh Will Be Cast Out of Iraq in 3 Months - Iraqi PM

Sputnik News

20:58 28.12.2016(updated 21:02 28.12.2016)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has claimed that it will take just three more months to push the jihadist group Daesh out of Iraq. It comes as al-Abadi has accepted he has failed to meet an earlier set deadline, while also calling the US "pessimistic" about the fight against terror in Iraq.

So far, Iraqi forces say they have seized only a quarter of eastern Mosul. Iraq's second largest city has long been strategically critical to the rulers of Iraq.

Daesh militants overran it in June 2014, ousting the Iraqi army in a humiliating defeat.

Iraq's official government and it's key international ally, the US, have repeatedly vowed to re-take the city, but to no avail.

Prime Minister al-Abadi previously set a deadline of the upcoming New Year. However, despite a coalition of Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Shia paramilitary forces, Sunni tribesmen and US-led airstrikes, al-Abadi has since conceded that his deadline will come and go, with Mosul continuing to be under the sway of the terrorist Daesh fighters.

However, the offensive continues.

Iraqi TV quoted al-Abadi on Tuesday 27 December, following a government meeting in Baghdad:

"Conditions indicate that Iraq needs three months to eliminate Daesh."

The campaign saw some advancement on Monday 26 December with Mosul's bridge over the historic Tigris River, being hit by a US-led air strike.

Despite their air power, the US has repeatedly denied that US forces are going to take on a ground combat role in Mosul.

US Commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said in an interview published on Monday 26 December, that the US estimates it will take two years to fully eradicate Daesh forces from Iraq and Syria.

Iraq's leader rejected this assessment.

In response, al-Abadi accused his Western allies of being "very pessimistic", reiterating that Iraqi forces are capable of success much faster than the US predicts.

"The Americans were very pessimistic. They used to talk about a really long period, but the remarkable successes achieved by our brave and heroic fighters reduced that. I foresee that in Iraq it will take three months," Mr. al-Abadi insisted.

In Washington, the Obama administration has been cautious over getting further entangled in the Middle-East. Their air support has already been linked to accusations of excessive civilian deaths in Iraq.

Indeed, the relentless attempts to drive Daesh out of Iraqi territory has left many displaced.

It is estimated that there are still 1.5 million civilians left trapped inside Mosul. The recent destruction of Mosul's last remaining bridge will hamper not only the movement of Daesh militants, but also that of refugees trying to flee.


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