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Haider al-Abadi

Iraqi PM declares ‘end of war against IS’ in Iraq

BAGHDAD: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday declared victory in a three-year war by Iraqi forces to expel the Islamic State group that at its height endangered Iraq's very existence. "Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh (IS)," Abadi told a conference in Baghdad. "Our enemy wanted to kill our civilisation, but we have won through our unity and our determination. We have triumphed in little time," he said, hailing Iraq's "heroic…

Iraq Kurds offer to freeze independence vote

ERBIL/BAGHDAD: Iraqi Kurdish leaders offered on Wednesday to freeze the outcome of last month's vote for independence, taking a step back in a major crisis that prompted Baghdad to seize swathes of disputed territory. The offer came as world powers scrambled to avert any further escalation of the conflict between the key allies in the fight against the Islamic State group that has seen more than 30 combatants killed. There was no immediate reaction from Baghdad but the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) force,…

Iraq forces retake IS bastion Hawija

BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces retook one of the Islamic State group's last two enclaves in the country on Thursday, overrunning the longtime insurgent bastion of Hawija after a two-week offensive. IS once held one-third of Iraqi territory but it has suffered loss after loss this year and now only controls a slither of land in the Euphrates Valley near the Syrian border. "I announce the liberation of the city of Hawija," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told a news conference in Paris. "All that remains is the strip on the border…

Iraqi PM calls on Kurds to cancel independence referendum result

BAGHDAD/ERBIL: Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi demanded on Wednesday that Kurdish authorities “cancel” the outcome of the independence referendum in northern Iraq, as a condition for dialogue to resolve an escalating crisis. In a speech to parliament, Abadi renewed his ultimatum to Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to hand over control of international airports by Friday or face a ban on direct international flights to the Kurdish region. People in northern Iraq voted overwhelmingly in favour…

Iraq storms main Christian town near Mosul as Carter arrives in Baghdad

QAYYARA, IRAQ: The Iraqi army on Saturday stormed a Christian town that had been under control of Islamic State since 2014 as part of US-backed operations to clear the entrances to Mosul, the militants' last major city stronghold in Iraq. The advance took place as US Defence Secretary Ash Carter arrived on a visit to Baghdad to meet Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and assess the campaign that started on Monday with air and ground support from the US-led coalition. A military statement said Iraqi army units entered the…