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Iraqi PM: No Foreign Ground Troops Needed Against IS

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi (file photo)

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi (file photo)

Iraq's new prime minister says foreign ground troops are neither needed nor wanted in his country's fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

Haidar al-Abadi also urged the international community to expand the campaign against the Islamic extremists to Syria.

Abadi said the fight against Islamic State will be endless unless the militants -- who control a large swath of land spanning both countries -- are attacked in Syria as well.

He added that Iran's absence from a Paris meeting on fighting Islamic State was "puzzling."

Some 30 countries and organizations on September 15 attended the Paris meeting and agreed to provide Baghdad with "appropriate military aid" to combat the Islamic State militants.

Meanwhile, security sources said Iraqi forces launched an intense military operation against IS insurgents in Ramadi, Fallujah, and Haditha in the western Anbar Province on September 17.

In Washington, FBI Director James Comey told Congress on September 17 that support for IS increased after U.S. air strikes began in Iraq.

Comey added that the group might take more hostages to try to force concessions from Washington.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters