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Italy supports Iraq as it battles al-Qaeda says Emma Bonino

Op gearing up to wrest Fallujah from militia

07 January, 17:30
Italy supports Iraq as it battles al-Qaeda says Emma Bonino (ANSA) - Rome, January 7 - Italy on Tuesday expressed its support for Iraq as its army geared up for an offensive to reclaim two al-Qaeda-controlled cities in its largest province, Al Anbar, which shares a border with Syria. "I express Italy's solidarity with the Iraqi government as it deals with a serious security crisis, which affects civilians first of all," Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said.

The Iraqi army deployed tanks and artillery around Fallujah on Tuesday, after fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al-Qaeda affiliate also active across the border in Syria, overran it and another city in the western Al Anbar province last week.

"We support the process of re-establishing security within a logic of regional stability, including with via European Union action," Bonino added.

The rule of law and protecting human rights and basic liberties through inclusive dialogue with all members of society are of the essence, the minister said.

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