Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told Alhurra’s Falah Althahabi that many countries in the region including Jordan and Turkey are threatened by ISIL and added that, “Saudi officials have just now realized that ISIL is posing a threat to them,” in an interview that aired Friday, October 10, 2014.
He contends in the interview that victory over ISIL can be achieved by restructuring Iraqi forces to be prepared to fully assume the responsibilities of defeating terrorism. He stressed the significance of the military cooperation between his country and the international community in fighting ISIL and its affiliates because they “pose a threat to world security.”
He pointed out ISIL’s use of propaganda through its extensive media campaign and said that Iraqi media should counter their message and play an essential role in confronting ISIL and “its psychological warfare.” He went on to say that “unfortunately, ISIL is able to penetrate our media and other groups allied with us and pass their propaganda to break our forces’ morale. We have to be cautious.”
Al-Abadi renewed his rejection of the presence of foreign ground forces in Iraqi territory to fight ISIL, whether Turkish or Arab. He noted that if Iraq allowed Turkish troops to enter Iraqi territory, it would set a precedent for other forces to enter Iraqi territory such as Jordanian, Saudi and Iranian troops and Iraq will become the battle ground of disputes over interests among these states.
He stressed the importance of government support for the “press and freedom of expression” and emphasized the significance of independent media committed to portraying the truth without any distortion.
Al-Abadi expressed his support for giving more administrative power to all provinces in Iraq. He said “decentralization is required” in Iraq, but provincial governments should be within “the federal state of Iraq.” He stated that all Iraqi provinces should have power to take care of their own matters and the federal government “should not interfere in the provinces’ internal affairs.”