The Daesh terrorist organisation has scaled up activities in Iraq in the past few months, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said in an interview with Sputnik.
“Unfortunately, the Daesh terrorist group still exists and it has become more active, compared to the situation we saw several months ago. We know that the group is present in certain areas in the provinces of Anbar, Kirkuk and Diyala, and certain areas in the Nineveh [province]”, Hussein said.
“We have Daesh members who are citizens of different countries [jailed in Iraq]”.
The Iraqi government maintains contact with Western European nations on their citizens who joined Daesh and staged terror attacks in Iraq, the foreign minister noted.
He also stressed that Iraq needs cooperation with foreign intelligence and defence agencies to defeat the jihadists.
“Cells and groups of terrorists are present in certain regions across Iraq … and this has an influence on the security situation in Iraq, but the situation has changed after Daesh disintegration. However, we need to cooperate with other countries in intelligence, weapons and training”, Hussein stated.
“As for full withdrawal of [foreign] forces, we are talking about operational forces. Advisers, intelligence cooperation against Daesh gangs, or cooperation in [military] training are a different thing”, the minister added.
Baghdad declared final victory over the terror group in late 2017. At the same time, the Iraqi armed forces, supported by people’s militia and the international coalition, continue purges and operations to identify sleeping cells of terrorist groups in certain areas.