US, Iraq discuss next steps in Daesh fight

20/03/2019 - 23:02 Published in News/Iraq

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Monday discussed the next steps to be taken following the territorial defeat of the Daesh terrorist group.

Pence "welcomed news of Iraq’s recent economic and trade agreements with Jordan and the prime minister’s upcoming travel as major steps towards Iraq’s reintegration in the region after the territorial defeat of ISIS," Pence's office said in a statement, using another name for Daesh.

Pence and Abdul-Mahdi further discussed potentials to bolster the "strategic partnership" between their countries, including efforts to "professionalize" Iraqi security forces and develop the Iraqi economy, the statement added.

Daesh's territorial defeat has long been sought by the U.S.-led coalition, and the terrorist group is now fighting against U.S.-backed forces in its last remaining bastion in Baghouz, Syria.

Abdul-Mahdi further briefed Pence on efforts to "exhume the mass graves of ISIS’s genocide against Yazidis in Sinjar and the prime minister conveyed that he would personally investigate security and economic impediments noted by the vice president as preventing the return of many of Iraq’s religious components and other displaced persons," according to Pence's office.

Pence had worked to expedite U.S. aid for Iraq's Christian and Yazidi minority communities that were killed and enslaved by Daesh en masse when the territories under its control included much of Iraq as well as Syria.

"The U.S. stands with Iraq to hold ISIS accountable for its mass atrocities & thanks the PM for his recent actions to help the Yazidi people recover from genocide by #ISIS," Pence said on Twitter shortly after his call with Abdul-Mahdi.