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ISIS fight may take 5-10 years, says key Iraqi MP

October 13th, 2014
03:25 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Countering the assessment of the Obama Administration, a key Iraqi parliamentarian on Monday told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the fight against ISIS could last “five to ten years.”

Mowaffak al-Rubaie represents Baghdad in parliament and is a former national security adviser to then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

“I do not agree with the White House assessment that three years is enough to destroy ISIS from Iraq and Syria. I believe this is a long war, and we have to prepare ourselves in a political, social, and ideological challenge as well, as well as the security challenge.”

“The narrative of ISIS is so strong and appealing to some of the youth; we have to challenge this. And this is ideological war.”

Al-Rubaie said that while Iraq would “not accept any foreign boots on the ground,” the country needed much more support from its “strategic ally, the United States of America.”

He said they needed, for example, faster weapons delivery and more extensive intelligence sharing.

Though ISIS has still failed to fully control the besieged northern Syrian city of Kobani, the group has advanced in Iraq, coming within ten miles of Baghdad Airport.

“It’s possible they start probing on the western suburbs of Baghdad but it is highly improbable that they are going to penetrate Baghdad defences,” al-Rubaie said.

“The eight million Iraqis who live in Baghdad – they will die to defend their city.”

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode • Syria
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