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ISIS Wants Alliance With Al-Qaeda, Says Iraqi Vice President

19 April 2017

If Al-Qaeda from Iraq wants to proclaim the Islamic State of the khalifate immediately, ISIS wants to eliminate the occidental influence from the Middle East.

Even if ISIS loses its territory in Iraq, Allawi said, it will not simply go away.

The war between ISIS militants and Iraqi forces is taking a heavy toll on several hundred thousand civilians trapped inside the city, with severely malnourished babies reaching hospitals in government-held areas. The talks come as Iraqi troops close in on IS fighters in the city of Mosul.

As many as half a million are estimated to remain overall in neighborhoods still under control of the militants in western Mosul, the organization said in a statement on Monday.

Iraqi army soldiers and pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha'abi, have made sweeping gains against the Takfiri elements since launching the operation to retake Mosul.

'Everything is back to normal, ' said a spokeswoman for the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.

They were some of the around 400,000 people still in western Mosul where military forces are trying to dislodge the militants from the Old City.

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Iraqi government forces have taken back most of it in a USA -backed offensive launched in October, including the half that lies east of the Tigris River.

The Islamic State, which made territorial gains in Mosul and parts of northern Iraq, has more recently been pushed out of much of the region under pressure from an worldwide coalition that includes the United States.

"Minutes ago, they launched an attack and we responded by shelling them with mortar rounds, killing two of them and their bodies were left in front of our defensive lines", he said.

"There are discussions and dialogue between messengers representing [IS leader Abu Bakr] Baghdadi and representing [the head of al Qaeda, Ayman] al Zawahiri", he said.

But after months of fighting, it appears that the government forces are winning after ISIS turned in desperation to Al-Qaeda to seek a potential alliance.

"It is unclear how exactly both groups may work together", Allawi said.