Iraq's ruling bloc backs PM in 'fight against terror'
By Adnan Jassem, Friday, April 11, 2014
BAGHDAD – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's ruling parliamentary bloc this week mandated him to "use all means necessary to fight terrorism" in Iraq's western Anbar province, a bloc member said Friday.
"At a Wednesday meeting, the coalition – and all its component parts – voiced its support for the prime minister in his fight against terrorism," Abbas al-Bayati told Anadolu Agency.
Al-Maliki's Shiite State of the Law coalition includes Iraq's five main Shiite political forces.
One MP told AA earlier this week that the Iraqi air force would soon be deployed to retake Anbar's Fallujah dam after it was captured by armed groups who cut off water supplies to several parts of the country.
Iraqi government troops, meanwhile, have been pursuing militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group – who the government says are linked to Al-Qaeda – since last December, when ISIL fighters seized Fallujah, a key city in Anbar, and other parts of the province.
"The coalition has informed al-Maliki of its support for upcoming government operations aimed at resisting the ISIL and retaking the Fallujah dam," al-Bayati said.
The Iraqi military had earlier declared its intention to launch ground operations in the city, but the date for the planned operation has yet to be announced.
Since the offensive began last December, hundreds have been killed and injured in Fallujah and Ramadi, Anbar's two main cities, according to government officials.
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