Iraq’s Ambassador to the United States Fareed Yasseen said on Tuesday that his country still needs the support of the US-led coalition to continue the next phase of the fight against the Daesh terror group.
“They [the coalition] played a really critical role,” Yasseen said during remarks at the US Institute of Peace funded by Congress. “We will continue to need their support and their expertise to fight ISIS [Daesh*] is the coming phases where you will have to move from terrain tactics warfare to intelligence, fusion cells, counter-terrorism, things like that.”
Yasseen said the fight against Daesh has been carried out by Iraqis, but it would not have been possible without the support of the US-led coalition.
Moreover, Yasseen said that Iraq would also need the support of the United States to secure its border with Syria.
The statement was made amid Iraqi military forces’ plans to launch a cross-border operation to fight against terrorists on the territory of Syria, announced by country’s Prime Minister Haider Abadi on April 1.
The US Institute of Peace works in Iraq to foster local reconciliation in Daesh-liberated areas, support minorities, help facilitate dialogue between police and communities and inform policy discussions.
The end of the Iraqi fight against Daesh was declared by Abadi last December after Iraqi troops had re-established complete control over the country’s border with Syria.
This landmark announcement has been a critical goal for the country for years, since Daesh had kept Iraq under its control from the beginning in 2014, after seizing Mosul, the country’s second-biggest city, and making it the terrorist group’s so-called capital in Iraq.
In the summer of 2017, Iraqi forces regained control over the city, while later in November, over the town of Rawa, the last Daesh stronghold in the country.