The end is near for ISIS in Iraq, according to Prime Minister Haider al Abadi. After years of seeing ISIS take control of large parts of the country, the Iraqi army has gained the upper hand. Several major victories has seen a number of Iraqi town and villages freed from ISIS control.
In an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” yesterday, al Abadi was confident the tide had turned for the Iraqi army. While he said ISIS would be defeated in his country “within weeks,” he acknowledged the terror group would still have a presence in other countries, including Syria.
“We are defeating them militarily,” al Abadi told “Fox News Sunday.” “As a terrorist organization … they will try. So that’s where we need the efforts of others. Flush them out of Syria and other places.”
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition, early this year drove Islamic State fighters from the eastern part of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. And the fight has now moved to Mosul’s densely populated western neighborhoods.
The Iraqi Prime Minister also took the unusual step of criticizing President Barack Obama. He pointed out Obama’s lack of commitment to fighting terror in the country. It was the lack of leadership after the Bush era that led to the rise of ISIS in the first place.
Al Abadi also suggested Sunday that President Obama didn’t want to get involved in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, but was forced into the situation when the terror group crossed the Syrian border and occupied 40 percent of Iraq.
In 2003, a U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein. However, the effort lasted roughly eight years.
“He just wanted just to forget Iraq,” the prime minister said. “I mean, slaughtering people. There was a lot of pressure on President Obama.”
While Al Abadi was supportive of President Trump’s efforts to fight ISIS, he was disappointed in his recent travel ban. He said including Iraq in the initial ban hurt a number of Iraqis who were strong supporters of America and need to travel here. The President removed Iraq from the revised ban order, however.