Iraq to end decades'old policy of semi' independent rule in Kurdistan, says PM
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Added 10-30-17 02:36:07pm EST - “Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is triumphant as he describes the Iraqi security forces driving out Isis from its last strongholds in western Iraq. "Our advances have been fantastic," he said in an interview with The Independent…” - Independent.co.uk
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Iraq reborn: In an exclusive interview for Patrick Cockburn's new series on the resurgence of this key Middle Eastern nation, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reveals how Baghdad will hammer home its twin victories over Isis and the northern Kurds
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is triumphant as he describes the Iraqi security forces driving out Isis from its last strongholds in western Iraq. “Our advances have been fantastic,” he said in an interview with The Independent in Baghdad. “We are clearing the deserts of them right up to the border with Syria.” Isis is being eradicated in Iraq three years after its columns were threatening to capture Baghdad.
Once criticised as vacillating and weak, Mr Abadi - who became prime minister in August 2014 - is now lauded in Baghdad for leading the Iraqi state to two great successes in the last four months: one was the recapture of Mosul from Isis in July after a nine month siege and the other was the retaking of Kirkuk in the space of a few hours on 16 October without any resistance from Kurdish Peshmerga.
The son of a neurosurgeon in Baghdad, Mr Abadi, who is 65, spent more than 20 years of his life in exile in Britain before the fall of Saddam Hussein. Trained as an electrical engineer, he got a PhD from the University of Manchester, before working in different branches of industry. A member of the Shia opposition Dawa party from a young age, two of his brothers were killed by Saddam Hussein’s regime and a third imprisoned. He returned to Iraq in 2003 where he became an MP and a leading figure in the ruling Dawa party.
As the man with the strongest claim to be the architect of the two biggest victories ever won by the Iraqi state, Mr Abadi’s reputation has soared at home and abroad. He is particularly pleased that there were so few casualties when Iraqi forces retook the great swath of territory disputed with the Kurds, which stretches from Syria in the west to Iran in the east. “I gave orders to our security forces that there should be no bloodshed,” he says, explaining that fighting the Peshmerga would make reconciliation difficult between the Kurds and the government.
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