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Thursday 9 April 2020

ISIS still not defeated, British PM May warns Iraq

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London: The ISIS may have lost significant ground but it has not been yet defeated, British Prime Minister Theresa May has said, as she warned Iraq that the terror group still poses a threat including from across the border.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi yesterday declared that the country’s war against ISIS was officially over, claiming that the terror group no longer occupied significant territory in the war-torn country.

May congratulated Abadi and all Iraqis on the “historic moment”, saying this signals a new chapter towards a more peaceful, prosperous country but warned that a lot more needed to be done.

“We must be clear however, that whilst Daesh (ISIS) is failing, they are not yet defeated. They still pose a threat to Iraq, including from over the Syrian border,” she said in a statement yesterday.

“This is why, during my visit, I announced that the UK will invest 30 million pounds in stabilisation support, 20 million pounds in humanitarian assistance and 10 million pounds to support counter-terrorist capacity building in Iraq,” May said.

May said she was proud that the UK, as a leading member of the Global Coalition, has stood “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Iraq to help them open the new chapter.

“I saw the effects of this first hand when I visited last week,” she said.

The UK has supported Iraqi security forces, including the armed forces and the Peshmerga, in the fight against ISIS and UK aircraft have launched over 1,350 air strikes in Iraq and trained over 60,000 members of the Iraqi security forces, she said.

“The UK aid provides a vital lifeline to millions of Iraqis with emergency food, shelter, medical care and clean water. We are now supporting the Government of Iraq to lay the foundations for an economy that meets the aspirations of all Iraqis,” May said.

Iraq’s announcement came two days after the Russian military said it had defeated ISIS in Syria.

PTI

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