Iraq

Iranian FM Cautions against Escalation of Crisis in Iraq’s Anbar Province

b2df9957-3da2-423d-9baf-5dc52b20706d_16x9_788x442 Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced deep concern about the ongoing crisis in Iraq’s Al-Anbar province.
“All individuals and different political spectra in Iraq surely want a tough battle against acts of terrorism and the support shown by the Iraqi people and tribes to help the Iraqi army is indicative of the same fact,” Zarif said in a meeting with former Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi in Tehran on Tuesday.

The Iranian foreign minister lauded the Iraqi government for its efforts to confront Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in Al-Anbar province, and said ongoing crisis in the province is a source of concern.

Abdel Mahdi, for his part, briefed Zarif on the measures taken by the Iraqi government to confront terrorism in Iraq, and said, “Terrorism is an ominous phenomenon and all regional countries should cooperate to uproot it.”

Earlier today, Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Majid al-Sheikh took certain regional Arab states responsible for the recent wave of terrorist attacks in his country, and stressed the seriousness and resolve of the Nouri al-Maliki government to fight terrorism.

“The terrorists who have come to Iraq due to the war in Syria are the enemies of the Iraqi nation, but the Iraqi government is serious about targeting them and thanks God, the government has attained important success in countering the terrorists,” Sheikh told FNA on Tuesday.

He described certain Arab regimes as the main supporters of militants in Iraq, and said they play an important role in spreading terrorism from Iraq to Syria.

Security sources in Baghdad said on Sunday that Saudi Arabia has hired and financed al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to fight a proxy war against Iraq’s Shiite government.

“Ahmed al-Alwani (an Iraqi MP held on terrorism charges after clashes killed at least six people during arrest raid on his home) and Ali al-Sulaiman (the chief of the Dulaim tribes in al-Anbar province) who are under prosecution have paved the political ground for terrorism and the ISIL has entered a proxy war to fight for Saudi Arabia,” Head of the Security Committee of Baghdad province’s Council Sa’d al-Matlabi was quoted as saying by the Palestinian al-Manar weekly.

He said that al-Alwani who was arrested by the security forces and al-Sulaiman who has called for Jihad against the Iraqi army have created a ground for the spread of terrorism.

In relevant remarks last Tuesday, Aliyah Nassif, a member of the De-Ba’athification Commission, said that al-Alwani and former Iraqi Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi have had contacts with the Saudi intelligence agency.

Nassif said that a number of Iraqi politicians have good relations with certain regional states, and some countries, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, spend huge sums of money to support them.

Late December, the Iraqi police forces in the Central province of Babel increased security measures to prevent the infiltration of ISIL from neighboring al-Anbar province.

“Intensive security measures have been adopted in the Northern parts of Babel province to this end and these measures have even been strengthened with the assistance and presence of the army and police task force units,” Babel Police Commander Abbas Abd Zeid Shamran told FNA at the time.

He said that the intensive security measures have been adopted after Babel police department received tips about infiltration of ISIL terrorists from Anbar province to Babel.

Shamran explained that the ISIL members join other terrorist groups in Iraq which are not so much active now, but their possible future plans and actions have worried Iraq’s officials.

In a relevant report in December, security and intelligence forces in Iraq’s Northern Neynava province warned that there is an imminent threat of a huge attack by the ISIL on Mosul’s security and intelligence departments.

Iraqi security forces said in early December that the terrorist group plans to set free its arrested members kept in Mosul’s security and intelligence offices.

The warning by Neynava security and intelligence departments came after the ISIL terrorists attacked Kirkouk’s intelligence department.

The ISIL is an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group comprised of foreign and Arab terrorists. The group has mainly been operating in Syria for the last two years.

Mosul is a city in Northern Iraq and the capital of the Neynava Province, some 400 km Northwest of Baghdad. Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city after Baghdad.

Later in December, a Salafi Sheikh disclosed that the ISIL has recruited many former intelligence officers of Iraq.

“Abu Iman Al-Araqi, ISIL commander in Lattakia, is a former Iraqi intelligence officer” working under Saddam Hussein’s Ba’th party, Syrian Salafi Sheikh Adnan Al-Arour said in a televised interview.

Al-Arour said that Al-Araqi prepares the Al-Qaeda operatives who come from Saudi Arabia for suicide attacks.

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