INA - LIVE UPDATES
Defense Minister, Juma Inad confirmed that the Iraqi army units worked with great professionalism in dealing with the recent events occurred in the Green Zone – IZ.
In an exclusive interview with the Iraqi News Agency - INA, Inad said that "the responsibility of the security forces is to protect the protesters and the people, and they have made sure to prevent any clash."
Inad explained that "the plan to protect the protesters included deploying a full brigade with leaders attends at each of the three IZ gates, and this achieved the purpose of restraint and preventing direct clashes."
“IZ recent events were like war, but the call of Sayyed Muqtada al-Sadr yesterday treated the blood," he highlighted, adding "there was a decision close to be taken to intervene to prevent confrontations before Sayyed al-Sadr's call for an immediate withdrawal."
The minister noted that "the constitution guarantees the right to peaceful demonstration and that the issue of demonstrations is political that must be resolved between the political parties," stressing that a number of weaknesses will be strengthened in securing the IZ.
"The duty of the Iraqi army is to protect the homeland from the abroad threats, and force cannot be used against peaceful protesters as there is a need to integrate anti-riot units and equip them with shields and other equipment,” he added.
He pointed out that "there is a security plan to provide protection for the visitors of the Arbaeen days of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him).”
“The remnants of Daesh have reached a point of weakness and do not threaten the security of the country and their capabilities are limited, taking advantage of geography."
Inad showed that there is a barrier system on the border with the Syrian side included a 15-km concrete fence, and work is underway to complete the length of the border strip, which is approximately 300 km, with towers for every one kilometer reinforced with modern equipment," stressing the establishment of a second line for the army behind the border in critical areas."
The Minister of Defense revealed upon the allocation of funds to the leadership of the first region, based in Erbil, estimated at 72 billion IQD, to appoint a new border police through which an additional brigade will be formed to strengthen the control of the border strip with the Turkish side.
Various wheels, engineering equipment and the construction of outposts were purchased in order to “reduce the effectiveness of the PKK” as he pointed out that "there is no federal soldier in the Kurdistan region."
He stressed strengthening the Iraqi army with new mechanisms, tanks and radars, in addition to French Rafale aircraft.
"There are contracts and projects concluded with Italy and France, as well as with the US,” noting the inability to purchase “military equipment from Russia” due to the sanctions imposed on it.
Inad concluded saying that "the International Coalition provided air support in our war against Daesh and after Daesh, as it provided our sector with equipment and training."