|Iraq will defeat terrorists, Rouhani tells Maliki||
TEHRAN – In a telephone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri-al-Maliki on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani predicted that the Iraqis will soon defeat terrorists.
Prime Minister Maliki thanked Iran for its support to Iraq and said the Iraqi people, including tribes, have rushed to the help of the Iraqi army in confronting terrorists.
The prime minister predicted that the Iraqi people will soon root out terrorists from the country.
Rouhani said Iran will remain on the side of Iraq at these difficult days and his government will use all its energy at regional and international levels to fight terrorists.
Iran will never allow the supporters of terrorism to undermine security and stability in Iraq, the president noted.
Some of Iraq’s religious authorities issued statements Tuesday in support of the army. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani emphasized his “support to the sons within the security forces.”
Rouhani said Ayatollah Sistani has played an important role in mobilizing the Iraqis against terrorists.
The telephone call between Rouhani and Maliki came as the terrorist group ISIL (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) extended its gains in Iraq after capturing Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city, and Tikrit.
After seizing Mosul in the north, fighters from ISIL moved on Thursday into Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Noureddin Qablan, vice chairman of the Nineveh provincial council, said by phone, Bloomberg reported.
In Mosul, ISIL took dozens of people hostage at the Turkish consulate, as hundreds of thousands of residents fled.
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