ISIS Must Be Stopped for 'Our Own Sake,' Says Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

Iraqi Army, Militia Attempt to Retake Tikrit From ISIS

ABC News
Sun, Mar 8, 2015

by Luis Martinez

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi fears that "no army in the region" can stand in the way of ISIS “if they are allowed to continue,” telling ABC’s “This Week” in an exclusive interview that the terror group must be stopped for “our own sake.”

Speaking from Baghdad, al-Abadi called ISIS "a very, very dangerous organization."

"If they are not stopped on time, I can assure you, no army in the region can stand in their own way,” he told ABC News' Martha Raddatz. "We have to stop them for our own sake."

Earlier this week, the Iraqi government launched its largest military offensive yet against ISIS in an attempt to retake Tikrit, which was seized by the group last summer.

Al-Abadi said Iraqi troops are “ahead of planning” in their push towards the city and preparing for an urban fight. While headed for meetings in Iraq this week, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed optimism that the Iraqi force of 23,000 military and Shiite militia fighters will defeat the several hundred ISIS fighters inside the city.

But al-Abadi also wants an offensive to take place when Iraq’s military has received enough training and has access to supply routes and air cover.

“Our timetable is not only time-linked, it's factual-linked,” he said. “We have to achieve certain things on the ground before we can take back Mosul.”


SEE ALSO: To learn more about Prime Minister al-Abadi, watch the ABC News Global Affairs digital original video here. Since taking office, he has called on the international community to help in the fight against ISIS by providing increased equipment and air support, but has experienced some tensions with the U.S. with regard to its role in the fight.

To read the full piece from ABC News, click here.