Iraq warns terror ‘spillover’ will affect entire world

At Jordan summit, Mideast leaders appeal for international assistance against terror, say air strikes on IS not working

SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) — Mideast-weary though it may be, the international community has a duty and an interest in helping the countries of the region both rebuff violent extremists and fix the refugee crisis that in part has resulted from the fight with them — that was the message coming from the regional World Economic Forum Saturday.

“In Iraq and the region as a whole, the biggest challenge we face is extremism and terrorism, but this has repercussions at the international level,” said Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi.

“Terrorism is not plaguing Iraq alone but is spilling over,” agreed Saleh Muhammed Al Mutlaq, Iraq’s deputy prime minister. “If it does, it will affect the stability and security of the whole world. We cannot expect that any Arab country can fight terrorism without the help of the international community.”

Iraqi officials at the Dead Sea gathering said their country needed far more weapons and that Arab and Western countries should help devise a strategy for crushing the Islamic State radicals who have taken over more than a third of the country and in recent weeks made key gains near Baghdad. Some suggested they would welcome an Arab coalition on the ground, and one mused about a return of the Americans. All seemed to agree that the current strategy of mostly airstrikes wasn’t working.

Meanwhile, the group is spreading tentacles and also poses “a very serious threat” to divided Libya if rival governments there fail to reach a unity deal quickly, said Bernadino Leon, the United Nations envoy to the North African country. The extremists in the country have grown from a few small groups six to eight months ago to more than 2,000 loyalists, and the Islamic State group “has a strong capacity in Tripoli,” he said.

Because it is lawless and relatively close to EU territory in the form of the Italian island of Lampedusa, Libya has also become the favored launch point for migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to reach safety by boat.

Full article: Iraq warns terror ‘spillover’ will affect entire world (The Times of Israel)

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