Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

France 24 meets George Weah ahead of inauguration

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gymnast's fierce courtroom address

Read more

THE DEBATE

A whole new world: Trump anniversary special

Read more

#TECH 24

Will artificial intelligence ever surpass the human brain?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Aiding migrants in France: What are the legal implications?

Read more

FOCUS

The challenge of clearing Colombia of landmines

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Gambians reflect on first year of democracy

Read more

FASHION

Pitti Uomo in Florence, the world's largest men's fashion showcase

Read more

ENCORE!

Award-winning Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza on keeping it real

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

Latest update : 2017-02-07

Exclusive: ‘We’re monitoring’ IS group chief, says Iraqi PM

Islamic State (IS) group leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is isolated and his movements are being monitored, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told FRANCE 24 in an exclusive interview. But he refused to provide details of the terror chief’s whereabouts.

Speaking to FRANCE 24 in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Abadi said a US-led anti-IS group military operation had “killed and eliminated” most of IS leader’s aides.

“He’s almost alone at the moment. He doesn’t have many people to trust. He is in isolation, we’re monitoring his movements,” said Abadi, adding that the IS group chief is keeping a very low profile. “His communication with other terrorists is very low. In many times, it is almost nonexistent.”

But Abadi refused to be drawn into divulging details of Baghdadi’s whereabouts. When asked if the Iraqi-born leader of the terrorist group was still in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Abadi smiled and replied, “I’m not commenting on it.”

As a coalition of US-backed troops battle to dislodge IS fighters from their last holdouts in Mosul, Abadi said the coalition had “almost crushed Daesh militarily,” using the Arabic acronym for the terrorist group.

But the real challenge, he stressed, was not the military fight against the IS group, but stopping its terror operations which have drawn fighters “from almost hundred countries in the world to Syria, to Iraq to fight and to kill innocent civilians.”

Abadi also criticised the travel ban slapped by US President Donald Trump's administration on seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq. "There is no right for any country to humiliate other nations," he said.

By Marc PERELMAN

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2018-01-19 Middle East

Chief Palestinian negotiator: 'Trump is burying two-state solution'

In an interview with FRANCE 24, the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed US President Donald Trump's recent decisions on Middle East policy, saying they "bury" the...

Read more

2018-01-17 Africa

'Equatorial Guinea's attempted coup began in France,' says President Obiang

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 and RFI, Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema spoke out for the first time about the recent alleged attempt to overthrow...

Read more

2018-01-17 migrants

IOM chief: 'Migrants are the quintessential agents of development'

Millions of migrants risk their lives every year making treacherous journeys because policymakers in the countries they seek to reach offer them little alternative. William Lacy...

Read more

2018-01-13 United Nations

Louise Arbour: Negative attitude towards migration 'completely self-defeating'

Louise Arbour, the UN Special Representative for International Migration, sits down with FRANCE 24 to discuss the Global Compact on Migration, a non-binding deal she hopes to...

Read more

2018-01-12 Europe

Turkish writer Asli Erdogan: 'Thousands of students are in jail for one tweet'

She has the same name and nationality as the Turkish president, but the similarities stop there. Writer Asli Erdogan is an outspoken critic of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's crackdown on...

Read more