- Title: In Iraq, Hollande hopes for "year of victory against terrorism"
- Date: 2nd January 2017
- Summary: BAGHDAD, IRAQ (JANUARY 2, 2017) (AGENCY POOL) VARIOUS OF FRENCH PRESIDENT, FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, ARRIVING AT MEETING WITH FRENCH SOLDIERS AT THE "FRENCH VILLAGE" NEAR MILITARY SCHOOL (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SAYING: "I wish you all a happy new year - a year which will be a year of victory here in Iraq against terrorism. As we said, acting against terrorism here in Iraq means preventing acts of terrorism on our soil." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SAYING: "It is indeed very important that in the context of the coalition that France, and what you are doing here in its name, can give Iraqi authorities the support and the indispensable training to carry out the fight that will allow Mosul to be retaken. That's the work you're doing and I salute you for it." HOLLANDE WITH FRENCH SOLDIERS
- Embargoed: 17th January 2017 13:58
- Keywords: Francois Hollande Mosul military Islamic State
- Location: BAGHDAD AND ERBIL, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD AND ERBIL, IRAQ
- Country: France
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XE0953
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS WHITE FLASHES IN BETWEEN HOLLANDE'S SOUNDBITES/ SOLDIERS FACES BLURRED AS PER REQUEST OF FRENCH GOVERNMENT
President Francois Hollande flew into Iraq on Monday (January 2) and told French troops stationed there he was hoping for "a year of victory against terrorism".
The Socialist president, whose country has faced a series of militant attacks in the past two years, said the soldiers serving in a U.S.-led coalition were preventing more mass killings at home.
"I wish you all a happy new year - a year which will be a year of victory here in Iraq against terrorism. As we said, acting against terrorism here in Iraq means preventing acts of terrorism on our soil," he told French soldiers in a Baghdad village where they were staying.
He praised the soldiers for providing support to Iraqi authorities, especially training as the Iraqi army makes a push for Mosul.
The recapture of Mosul would probably spell the end for the group's self-styled caliphate in the areas it seized in 2014, but the militants would still be capable of fighting a guerrilla-style insurgency in Iraq, and plotting or inspiring attacks on the West.
There are about 60 French citizens fighting alongside Islamic State militants in the northern city of Mosul alone and hundreds more in the rest of the country and Syria, French diplomatic sources said.
Hollande travelled later on Monday to the Kurdish city of Erbil, where he was welcomed by regional president Massoud Barzani.
In Erbil, France was set to deliver about 38 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including medicine, officials said.
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