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Mosul battle to extend as far as Syria and Yemen, former Iraqi PM Maliki says

Maliki made his comments at an Iran-sponsored conference being held in Baghdad called 'The Islamic Awakening'
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki addresses a conference in London on 30 April 2009 (AFP)

Former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki said that the campaign to liberate Islamic State-occupied Mosul would be only the first step to liberating other cities as far away as Syria and Yemen.

"Today, Iraq has launched an operation to liberate Mosul, but it is also one to liberate other cities," Maliki said at a conference in Baghdad.  "The 'We are coming Nineveh' operation also means, 'We are coming Raqqa'; 'We are coming Aleppo'; 'We are coming Yemen'."

The ex-prime minister was referring to the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh where Mosul is located. 

"We are coming to all places where Muslims are being killed, where Islamic thought is being renounced," he said.

Excerpt of Nouri al-Maliki’s controversial speech

Maliki made his comments on Sunday at an Iran-sponsored conference being held in Baghdad called “The Islamic Awakening.”

The former Iraqi premier, speaking at a meeting called “Fighting extremism and takfeerism,” thanked Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khameini for organising the conference.

Maliki called those his country were fighting “terrorists” and pledged to fight them “in all places where they exist.”

Iran is currently involved in the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen through its own military forces as well as its proxy militias.

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