Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday that over the past three years, war on ISIS had caused more than $100 billion worth of damage.
Speaking during his visit to Karbala on the occasion marking the annual Arbaeen commemoration of Imam Hussein, Abadi stated that damage caused by ISIS is estimated to have multiplied to over $100 billion, adding: “that’s just the damage to the economy and infrastructure.”
In 2014, ISIS seized around third of Iraq and parts of Syria in a sweeping advance, but Iraqi forces backed by Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) were able to recapture 97 percent of that.
Meanwhile, Abadi warned against escalation in the region and what could lead to the rise of takfirist terrorist groups.
The PM warned against escalation in the region for its dangerous ramifications, pointing out that Iraq is willing to help solve the issue in the region given its experience in averting this danger.
DW reported Abadi as to saying that whoever believes that countries in the region are safe from terrorism is delusional. He called for a meeting between regional leaders to ensure that such crisis will not happen again, and that “a new generation of terrorist ideologies will not emerge”.
Abadi explained that his recent visit to Saudi Arabia is not a courtesyو but rather for ensuring the sovereignty of Iraq, pointing out that this is the first time the kingdom had sent airplanes directly to Iraq to transport visitors.
The PM admitted that Iraq was ending ISIS’ military presence, however, a terrorist ideology is on the rise especially with the support of scare tactics on social media.
He assured: “we have succeeded in three things: liberating the land, uniting the country, and terminating any attempt to endanger the country’s internal security. This danger still exists.”
Abadi assured that the country is adamant on holding the elections within safe conditions and army and PMF should not be involved in the elections.
Article: Asharq al-Awsat
Image: Reuters/Ludovic Marin/Pool