Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Monday ruled out any foreign ground intervention to assist government forces in retaking territory lost to jihadists and urged Sunnis to give up such hopes.

Abadi was speaking in the city of Najaf after a rare meeting with the most revered figure among Iraqi Shiites, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and before a trip to neighbouring Iran.

“No ground forces from any superpower, international coalition or regional power will fight here,” Abadi told reporters, reiterating previous remarks on the issue. […]