Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday warned Europe and regional countries of a serious terrorist threat, asserting that the Iraqi forces will continue fighting the Islamic State even if they attack from neighbouring Syria. “I warn of a serious terrorist threat, Europe and the countries of the region are not safe from it,” Abadi said in a televised press conference after his weekly cabinet meeting without giving further details about the threat or who is behind it, XInhua reported.
As for the fighting against the IS militant group, Abadi, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of Iraqi forces, said that he ordered the Iraqi forces “to fight back their attacks on Iraqi areas even if they come from the Syrian territory.” Abadi’s comment came after he raised the Iraqi flag on Husaibah border crossing with Syria on Sunday, just two days after he announced the full liberation of the city of al-Qaim near the border with Syria from the extremist IS militants.
The troops also are taking positions outside the remaining city of Rawa, about 80 km east of al-Qaim, and are preparing to storm the city and to clear the nearby vast rural areas and desert in north of the Euphrates River. Abadi said “any force targets the Iraqi forces will not be safe in Iraq,” confirming that “the federal will reach to everyone all of the country.” His comments came as a warning to the Kurdish forces not to clash with the Iraqi forces or open fire on the federal troops in the disputed areas claimed by Baghdad and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Tensions have been running high between Baghdad and the region of Kurdistan after the Kurds held a controversial referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan region and the disputed areas.