'Psychological warfare is needed in the fight against jihadists,' Iraq tells an anti-ISIL coalition in Paris.
In an effort to regain lost ground in Iraq, foreign ministers from the US-led anti-jihad coalition agreed to back a long-term military and political plan outlined by Iraq, France has confirmed.
As Iraq suffers it’s biggest military setback in months, government ministers met with international allies in Paris to discuss a strategy for tackling ISIL.
The militant group has made huge advances in the region, conquering the Iraqi city of Ramadi and the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria.
Up to 40 percent of Iraq and 50 percent of Syria are believed to be under ISIL control.
Speaking in Paris, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said:
“We need more support for Iraqi forces fighting on the ground,” he said. “Two thirds of this war is psychological. ISIL is trying to spread propaganda and this is where we need to face the psychological war head on. We need to develop a psychological campaign to counter ISIL in the region, but also throughout the world.”
Russia, Iran and Syria are not included in the coalition. Al-Abadi alluded to the prior two countries, saying sanctions against Moscow and Tehran were hindering Iraq’s efforts to purchase more weapons.
The restrictions on Russia relate to the crisis in Ukraine, while Iran is being punished over its nuclear programme. Al-Abadi urged the international community for help to enable Iraq to buy arms.
“The money is sitting there in the bank, but we cannot get [the weapons],” he told the press. “We are not asking for arms, but please let us purchase them more easily.”