AFP
Last updated: 16 June, 2015

Iraq PM to visit Iran for ‘talks on anti-IS war’

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will travel to Iran on Wednesday for talks on the war against the Islamic State jihadist group, his office said.

He will meet with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other Iranian officials to discuss issues including “international efforts to confront (IS) terrorist gangs,” a statement on Abadi’s website said.

IS spearheaded an offensive that overran a third of Iraq last year, sweeping Baghdad’s forces aside, and the jihadists proved they are still capable of gaining ground when they overran Anbar provincial capital Ramadi last month.

With its forces in disarray last June, Baghdad turned to volunteer forces that are dominated by Iran-backed Shiite militias for support, and they have proved instrumental to Iraqi gains against IS.

But the US, which is leading an international coalition carrying out air strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria, is wary of cooperating with some of the militias that fought against its forces in past years.