Iraq may ask Iran help against ISIL, says Iraqi foreign minister

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Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says the Iraqi government may request Iran’s assistance to counter the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the 41st session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Wednesday, the Iraqi foreign minister said that “everything is possible” in view of Iran’s assistance in the Iraqi battle against terrorists, Reuters reported.

The remarks come as Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said that the Iraqi nation will push back terrorists and their supporters, stressing that the Islamic Republic will spare no effort to protect holy shrines in Iraq.

“These terrorist groups and those who are supporting them, both in the region and across the world, are no match for the Muslim people of this land (Iraq) and they (Iraqis) will repel them, Allah willing,” Rouhani said on Wednesday.

The Iranian president also stated that all superpowers, mercenaries and terrorists should know that the great Iranian nation would make every effort to safeguard holy shrines in the Iraqi cities of Karbala, Najaf, Kadhimiya and Samarra.

On June 10, militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant took control of the city of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh Province. They later took control of the city of Tikrit, located some 140 kilometers northwest of the capital, Baghdad.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people have been forced out of their homes ever since.

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