World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday that he ordered his air force to halt strikes on civilian areas, comments that followed government attacks this year which rights groups say have indiscriminately targeted civilians.
"I have ordered the Iraqi Air Force to halt shelling of civilian areas even in those towns controlled by ISIS," he said on his official Twitter account, using the former name for the so-called 'Islamic State' (IS) militant group.
Sunni Muslim tribal figures have demanded a freeze on military action on civilian areas as one of the conditions for their support of the Shi'ite-led government against IS, which controls a third of Iraq.
The United Nation's representative in Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, welcomed the comments, which were repeated by Abadi at a conference about refugees on Saturday in Baghdad.
"Protection of civilians and ensuring their safety and security is a paramount priority for the United Nations", he said.
Diplomats and Iraqi politicians from across Iraq's political spectrum hope Abadi, who formed a cabinet on Monday, can detoxify the political system to form a unified front against IS.Last Mod: 13 Eylül 2014, 16:56