Iraq

UN: Iraq Starts to Push back ’Jihadists’

The new Iraqi government’s strategy of enlisting Kurds and local tribes in the fight against extremists is yielding results, the UN envoy for Iraq told the Security Council on Tuesday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has made it a priority to pay salaries, arm and train fighters from local tribes and communities, and provide legal guarantees for volunteers, envoy Nickolay Mladenov said.

“This strategy is bearing fruit,” Mladenov told the 15-member council.

“Communities are beginning to push back.”

The massacre by ISIL terrorists of 322 members of the Albu Nimr tribe spurred cooperation with the government in its campaign to defeat the ‘jihadists’, he said.

At least 10,000 civilians have been killed and almost 20,000 injured in Iraq this year, while nearly 1.9 million people have been displaced, Mladenov said.

“These are devastating times for the country,” he said.

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