Iraq PM promises to uproot al-Qaeda-linked militants

Iraq PM promises to uproot al-Qaeda-linked militants
Wed Jan 8, 2014 18:43:44

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has promised to uproot al-Qaeda-linked militants operating in Fallujah as Iraqi forces gear up for a major operation in the city.

Maliki said in a televised speech on Wednesday that the government is determined to uproot “the corrupt organization” of al-Qaeda, Press TV reported.

The Iraqi premier said “We will continue this fight because we believe that al-Qaeda and its allies represent evil.”

The Iraqi prime minister demanded that the militants surrender, saying, “I call on those who were lured to be part of the terrorism machine led by al-Qaida to return to reason.”

Maliki also promised to be lenient on them in case they turn themselves in, saying, his government will "open a new page to settle their cases so that they won't be fuel for the war that is led by al-Qaeda."

Iraqi troops have besieged Fallujah in al-Anbar Province as they prepare for a major offensive to clear the city from the militants. However, concerns about the lives of the people living in the city have complicated the operation.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces together with local tribesmen have taken control of 90 percent of the city of Ramadi in the same province.

Local tribesmen have joined the army over the past week to reverse the surge of the al-Qaeda militancy.

The cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in the al-Anbar Province have been the scene of deadly clashes between the Iraqi army and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants over the past days.

The violence broke out on December 30, 2013, when the army removed an anti-government protest camp in Ramadi. Authorities said the camp was used as “headquarters for the leadership of al-Qaeda.”

HH/HH

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