Iraq mustn’t depend on West in anti-ISIL fight: Al-Sistani
Iraq’s top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has advised the Iraqi government not to rely on foreign powers in fighting the Takfiri ISIL terrorists, one of his close aides says.
Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai, who represents the senior cleric, made the remarks during a Friday prayers sermon in the holy city of Karbala.
According to Sheikh Karbalai, Iraq is in need of help from brotherly and friendly countries in confronting the Takfiri terrorists.
Earlier in June, a call by the top Shia cleric encouraged tens of thousands of volunteers from across Iraq to join the army in its battle against the ISIL.
Ayatollah Sistani has repeatedly called on all Iraqi people and political factions to unite and support the government and army in their battle against the terrorists. Iraqi men from all walks of life have flocked to recruitment centers to join the army in its fight against the ISIL militants.
The ayatollah’s remarks come days after the General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said American forces may be needed if current efforts to combat the ISIL fail.
Political experts believe that the real objective of the so-called international coalition recently formed by the US to fight ISIL is to expand US military presence in the region.
The US withdrew its forces from Iraq in 2010, a year after President Barack Obama took office. Many Iraqis blame their country’s problems on the US-led invasion of 2003.
Terrorists from the ISIL group were reported on Friday to have launched gas attacks on Iraqi forces in the town of Dhuluiya in Saladin Province. The town has been under ISIL siege for more than two months.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.