Iraqi V. president negates ambassador, says no partaking in Syria war

FILE – In this Dec. 12, 2009 file photo, Osama al-Nujeifi the elected parliament speaker speaks to the press after an Iraqi Parliament session in Baghdad, Iraq. Al-Nujaifi, and his brother, Ninevah Gov. Atheel al-Nujaifi, are two of the most powerful Sunni Arabs in Iraq’s north and have taken hardline pains to limit Kurdish power in Mosul. The 54-year-old speaker was born in Mosul and has a degree in electric engineering.

Baghdad ( Iraq’s vice president said Sunday his country’s government and paramilitary troops were not going to engage in fighting against Islamic State in Syria, repeating assurances on the controversial possibility.

“The engagement of any Iraqi troops in battles inside Syria will open the door for many problems,” Osama al-Nujaifi said in a press statement.

Iraq’s foreign ministry said earlier that Iranian media had misquoted Iraq’s ambassador to Tehran, Rageh al-Mosawi, as saying that his country would not mind the participation of Iraqi forces in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s battles against Islamic State militants.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had earlier stressed that fighting the Islamic State on Syrian soil without coordination with the Syrian government would represent a violation of the Iraqi constitution.

Towards the end of the Iraqi government’s eight-month war against the Islamic State in Mosul, there had been several conflicting statements by leaders from the Iran-backed, Shia-led Popular Mobilization Forces concerning intentions to take the fight against IS beyond the borders.

Mobilization forces, formed by a top Shia clergy edict in 2014,  gained official recognition in November 2016. They have been a major contributor to the campaign against IS, and declared last month a total takeover of the borders with Syria.


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