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 his country’s 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 past four months: one was the recapture of Mosul from Isis in July after a nine-month siege; the other was the retaking of Kirkuk in the space of a few hours on 16 October without any resistance from Kurdish Peshmerga.
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