Iraqi PM: Majority of ISIS fighters foreign

An image grab taken from a video on April 11, 2015, made available by Jihadist media outlet Welayat Nineveh allegedly shows members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) destroying a stoneslab with a sledgehammer at what they said was the anc
An image grab taken from a video on April 11, 2015, made available by Jihadist media outlet Welayat Nineveh allegedly shows members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) destroying a stoneslab with a sledgehammer at what they said was the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq. Iraq's prime minister said on Tuesday, June 2,  that the majority of ISIS fighters were foreign. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Iraq's prime minister said on Tuesday that the majority of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters were foreign, as he visited Paris to drum up international support for the fight against the jihadist group.

"What I can see for Iraq, the flow of foreign fighters is more than before," Mr Haider al-Abadi told reporters, hours before a meeting of around 20 foreign ministers from the US-led anti-ISIS coalition in the French capital.

"There is an international problem, it has to be solved."

He said that up until recently, around six out of 10 fighters were Iraqi and the remainder foreign whereas now the proportion was reversed.

"Daesh is creating a new generation of fighters, dedicated, ideologised. They are prepared to die but they are not suicide bombers," said the prime minister, using an alternative name for the ISIS jihadists.

Whereas suicide bombers were prepared to die but not fight, Daesh jihadists were prepared to both fight and die, creating a dangerous enemy.

Mr Abadi's comments came after a huge suicide bomb against an Iraqi police base killed at least 37 people.

The blast further slowed an operation to retake the city of Ramadi, which will be a main focus of the Paris talks.