Iraqi prime minister: No evidence Turkey wants to fight ISIL

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on Jan. 21 he is “not seeing evidence” of Turkey’s willingness to fight Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi. /AP
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi. /AP

While attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Abadi told CNBC he believes Turkey views the Kurdish population within its border as a greater problem than ISIL.

“The Turks are telling us otherwise, (that) they’re eager to fight Daesh (ISIL). But I’m telling them frankly, I’m not seeing evidence of that. I hope to see more evidence of that.

“I think they have to shift their priority from considering the Kurds as their problem, to Daesh as their major problem. I think that the bombing of some targets inside Turkey by Daesh, that’s an alarm to them. They must take it seriously.”

Abadi also said that Turkey had extended its fight against the Kurds into Iraq.

“I’m very keen to improve our good relationship (with Turkey), which we have done, but of course the extension of the crossing of Turkish military units into Iraq is not helpful at all,” Abadi said.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Jan. 20 that Turkish troops were in Iraq solely to fight ISIL.