Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has underlined the importance of the ongoing battle to retake the strategic northern city of Mosul from the ISIS Takfir terrorist group, saying that the country is defending the entire world against terrorists.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has underlined the importance of the ongoing battle to retake the strategic northern city of Mosul from the ISIS Takfir terrorist group, saying that the country is defending the entire world against terrorists.
"We are not only doing this to defend ourselves; we are doing this for all the countries of the world," Jaafari said at a press conference with EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, in Brussels on Tuesday.
On Monday, the Iraqi army, volunteer Shia and Sunni fighters as well as Kurdish Peshmerga forces launched an operation to liberate Mosul, the last stronghold of ISIS in the Arab country.
Many believe that the recapture of Mosul, which fell to ISIS in 2014, would signal the terror outfit’s defeat in Iraq.
Elsewhere in his comments, Jaafari warned that ISIS is trying to use civilians as human shield in a bid to prevent the advance of Iraqi forces in Mosul.
"Iraqi military forces are ... ensuring the least possible losses and damage will occur," he said, adding, "We did this in Fallujah and also for Mosul because we know that our opponents are trying to use civilians as human shields to hamper our progress.”
Iraq needs foreign support due to the high costs of its battle against ISIS, Jaffari further said, noting that the liberation of Mosul needs double efforts.
Local Iraqi sources estimate that the number of those transferred to central Mosul to be used as human shields by ISIS stands at 25,000.
ISIS militants came from about 100 countries and their radical ideology spread to conflict zones when governments failed to stand up to them, the top Iraqi diplomat pointed out.
Mogherini, for her part, said that a consensus was reached with the Iraqi minister to ensure the safety and security of Mosul residents and guarantee respect for international law and humanitarian norms.
Mogherini added, "We know that stabilization after the military campaign is as important as the military campaign itself."
The EU official further stated that people who have fled their homes in Mosul can only return after the removal of all improvised explosive devices (IEDs).