IraqMiddle East

Iraq building wall around Baghdad: Abadi spokesman



A spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has confirmed the construction of a security wall around the capital, Baghdad, after the premier apparently dismissed the idea.

Saad al-Hadithi said on Sunday that the wall is being built but stressed that it is “not politically motivated” or aimed at “achieving demographic change.”

The remarks came a day after Abadi in a statement described Baghdad as the capital of “all Iraqis,” and added that there can be “no wall or fence to isolate it or prevent other civilians from entering it.”

A handout image released by the press office of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi shows him (L) visiting the site of an explosion in the capital’s eastern Baghdad al-Jadida neighborhood the day after the attack on January 12, 2016. © AFP

Baghdad Operations Command said on February 3 that preparatory work for a security barrier had started without providing further details.

Iraqi Interior Ministry’s spokesman, police Brig. Gen. Saad Maan said the “wall” would include an increased number of checkpoints around Baghdad in an attempt to prevent Daesh Takfiris from smuggling car bombs in.

“It’s not a wall exactly…We have reduced the number of attacks inside Baghdad, but we are working to prevent them completely,” he said.

Gruesome violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since Daesh terrorists launched an offensive in the country in June 2014, and took control of portions of Iraqi territory.

The militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others.

They have also claimed responsibility for several deadly assaults in recent months in Baghdad.

On January 11, elements with the extremist group targeted a shopping mall in an assault that killed nearly 20 people.

Iraqi army soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Mobilization Units are seeking to win back militant-held regions in joint operations.

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