Haider al-Abadi, pictured in Baghdad on September 10, opposes the deployment of foreign ground forces in Iraq as part of efforts to combat jihadists
Haider al-Abadi, pictured in Baghdad on September 10, opposes the deployment of foreign ground forces in Iraq as part of efforts to combat jihadists © Brendan Smialowski - POOL/AFP
Haider al-Abadi, pictured in Baghdad on September 10, opposes the deployment of foreign ground forces in Iraq as part of efforts to combat jihadists
AFP
Last updated: September 22, 2014

Iraq PM opposes foreign ground forces in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi opposes the deployment of foreign ground forces in Iraq as part of efforts to combat jihadists, his office said on Monday.

During a meeting with Australian Defence Minister David Johnston in Baghdad, Abadi reaffirmed his "rejection of any ground intervention in Iraq", a statement said.

Both the United States and France have carried out air strikes against jihadists in Iraq, a campaign that is likely to be expanded to neighbouring Syria.

But Washington has repeatedly asserted that it would not deploy ground troops to the country in which its forces fought a bloody and costly war before withdrawing at the end of 2011.

However, the United States has already deployed hundreds of military personnel to Iraq since June for tasks that include advising Baghdad's forces.

And the Pentagon has said that it will fly combat aircraft from a base in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region as part of a "more aggressive" air campaign against the militants.

Militants led by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group launched a major offensive in June, seizing Iraq's second city Mosul and then overrunning much of the Sunni Arab heartland, sweeping security forces aside.

IS last month launched a renewed push in the north that drove Kurdish forces back towards their regional capital Arbil, sparking the American air campaign.

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