Iraq president says Iran was first to help his country against ISIL
Iraqi President Fuad Masum has commended Iran as the first country to have provided military assistance to the government in Baghdad in the battle against the Takfiri ISIL terrorists.
In an exclusive interview with the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network on Saturday, President Masum also said Iraq only receives consultations from Iranian military experts in the fight against ISIL, underlining that the Islamic Republic has no military presence inside Iraq.
He added that Iraq does not need foreign forces to defend itself against ISIL, calling on the international community to provide the crisis-hit Arab country with modern weaponry and equipment.
The Iraqi president also stressed the need for unity among the Iraqi people in the battle against ISIL.
He said the Iraqi army soldiers backed by volunteer fighters and Kurdish Peshmerga forces have managed to liberate large areas of land, and can expel ISIL from the areas they still have under control.
Masum argued that the US-led airstrikes against purported ISIL positions in Iraq, which the Pentagon has been carrying out since August, cannot eliminate ISIL.
Earlier, other Iraqi officials had expressed gratitude for Iran’s support for the Iraqi government in the face of the ISIL brutalities.
In August last year, President of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Masoud Barzani also praised the Islamic Republic’s support for Iraqi Kurds in their fight against ISIL.
He emphasized that Iraqi Kurds would never forget Tehran’s support that came at a crucial time without any expectation.
ISIL started its campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014. The heavily-armed militants are now in control of the country’s northern city of Mosul and several other areas.
The Iraqi army, backed by volunteer forces, has been engaged in operations to drive the terrorists out of the areas they have seized.