Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has rejected the deployment of foreign ground troops for his country’s campaign against the ISIL terrorists.
The office of the Iraqi prime minister issued a statement on Monday after a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond in Baghdad.
According to the statement, during the meeting the Iraqi prime minister urged the international community to help Iraq eliminate the ISIL. Abadi emphasized that the actual battle against the Takfiri group will be carried out by Iraq’s security forces and people’s volunteer forces.
Hammond expressed support for the Iraqi government’s campaign against terrorist groups, pledging Iraq would “not stand alone” against the terrorists.
Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari also said during a joint press conference with the British foreign secretary earlier in the day that Baghdad has not asked for ground operations by the US-led coalition against the ISIL militants.
The top British diplomat, for his part, said the US-led coalition’s airstrikes would not be enough to defeat the ISIL terrorists, calling for “heavy work on the ground” by Iraqi forces.
Hammond also defended the US-led coalition’s airstrikes, claiming they have been effective in halting the ISIL advance.
Since late September, the United States and its Arab allies have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL positions inside Syria, without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
Many countries in the so-called US-led coalition against the ISIL, such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have reportedly supported the Takfiri militants over the past years.
In late September, British MPs voted to back the UK joining the US-led airstrikes against the ISIL in Iraq.
The UK Defense Ministry said in a statement on September 30 that British warplanes conducted their first aerial strikes against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in northwestern Iraq.