By: Sputnik News agency
BAGHDAD, Iraq: Iraqi Vice President, Nouri Al-Maliki said the victory over ISIL in Mosul was an achievement of the Iraqi army and people’s militias, not of the United States.
“They [the United States] say, and I regret this and reject this, that the victory is their achievement because they led this war, but really this is a victory of the Iraqi army. Yes, they supported us with their aviation, but the main praise belongs to the Iraqi soldier, the people’s militia, Iraq’s air force,” Maliki said.
Some 20,000 members of the Iraqi army and police were injured or killed in the nine-month capture of the city of Mosul, Nouri Maliki added.
“The military losses are huge – to be honest, around 20,000 killed and injured in the armed forces, the police,” Maliki said.
The victory over ISIL in Mosul is not final with terrorists hiding in pockets and sleeper cells, Vice President of Iraq Nouri Maliki told Sputnik.
“This victory is not final – there are still pockets where terrorists are hiding … there are sleeper cells even in Diyala,” Maliki said.
ISIL will be unable to advance or take over territories in Iraq, but its sleeper cells remain in cities including the capital of Baghdad, Nouri Maliki said.
“There are sleeper cells in Baghdad, once in a while they take action … There is nothing to be concerned about from the military point of view, ISIL is unable to advance or take over territories, they will be unable to stay in their occupied territories, but from the point of view of security, sleeper cells and lone wolves remain,” Maliki said.
Maliki said that Russia preserved the entire Middle Eastern region from being destroyed by keeping its stance toward the Syrian and the Iraqi governments.
“I have said this before and I will repeat it again – if it were not for the Russian stance, the region would be fully destroyed, its map would be new and unusual … Without Russia’s approach to the Syrian issue which differs from the one of the United States, the Syrian regime would have fallen, terrorists would have intensified their actions thanks to this, the regional map would change and in the end it would lead to the fall of Baghdad,” Maliki said.