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Iraq raises alarm about foreign IS fighters

By Agencies in Paris and Teheran | China Daily | Updated: 2015-06-03 07:41

xiangUS-led coalition members carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State jihadists met in Paris on Tuesday as Iraq's leader pleaded for more support against what he said was an increase in the proportion of foreigners in the group.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the advance of IS represented a "failure" for the global community, upping the stakes ahead of the gathering of about 20ministers from the coalition.

"The flow of foreign fighters is more than before," he told reporters. "There is an international problem; it has to be solved."

He said that up until recently, around 6 out of 10 fighters were Iraqi and the remainder were foreigners, whereas now the proportion was reversed.

Abadi complained on Tuesday of a lack of support from international allies. Coalition partners were not providing Iraqi forces with sufficient intelligence to stem IS advances, while support for ground operations was also lacking, he said.

The talks were given added urgency by a suicide bomb at an Iraqi police base that killed at least 37 and further slowed an operation to retake Ramadi, a city near Baghdad.

Iraq's plan to recapture Ramadi will dominate the meeting, according to a senior US official, with Abadi set to outline how his government intends to retake it and what coalition partners can do to help.

"This is not a 'business as usual' meeting," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We're coming to discuss with ... Abadi his plan for liberating Ramadi and Anbar province."

Hours before the meeting, Abadi stressed that IS was not just a problem for Iraq and Syria, but for the whole world.

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