Many Baghdad residents said they hoped Monday’s meeting of the anti-Islamic State coalition in Paris would be see an aggressive strategy emerge to tackle ISIL, which now controls
France hosted a conference of 29 countries where ministers agreed to help fight the militant group by “all means necessary” and said they’d provide additional military support.
Coming a week after the new Iraqi government was approved by parliament, there are hopes that the country’s political and military void can finally be filled.
Baghdad resident Amer Shummari said: “I hope, with this alliance, there is real cooperation between the government and the security forces and I hope the results are positive -God willing; and I really hope that they form this alliance as soon as possible.’‘
But for some, many questions remain unanswered.
Another resident, Husam Mounaf asked: ‘‘Are the costs of this operation to be carried by Iraq? Are the airstrikes going to be paid us? What about the mobilisation (of troops)? Are we going to have troops from abroad coming, or foreign instructors training the army? All these questions have not been answered yet. The government should clarify their position.
Although mostly sweeping across Iraq’s northwest, ISIL have targeted Baghdad several times.
Security has been stepped up in the capital’s international ‘green’ zone amid fears that they could penetrate the heavily fortified area.