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Iraqi PM: Saudi-led airstrikes against rebels in Yemen not helpful

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi talked about his government's fight against ISIS militants during his visit to Washington, D.C.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi talked a... 03:52

As a Saudi Arabia-led coalition bombs Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is reportedly working behind the scenes against the strikes.

In an interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose, al-Abadi said he doesn't think the airstrikes, for which the U.S. is providing intelligence support, are helping the situation "at all," and the Saudis should not be conducting them.

"This is [an] internal conflict. [It] doesn't help if you start bombarding that country. Does it reduce the regional involvement in the country or increase it? It's quite obvious it'll increase it," al-Abadi said.

Al-Abadi wrapped up his first official visit to the White House this week. He met with President Obama Tuesday to discuss the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). As CBS News correspondent Holly Williams reports, President Obama gave al-Abadi $200 million in humanitarian aid and credited him with making progress in pushing back ISIS in his country.

Al-Abadi told Rose that Iran is supporting the fight inside Iraq, but not providing troops.

"We are getting support in terms of intelligence, in terms of advisers, in terms of training and weapons. We're not getting support from any country, whether the international coalition or Iran, in terms of soldiers fighting on the ground against Daesh (the Arabic acronym for ISIS) with the Iraqis. Only Iraqis are fighting on the ground," al-Abadi said.

He said Iranian advisers "don't carry arms."

"They're not allowed to do that," he said.

Al-Abadi also said Iraq has not asked the Obama administration for more troops, and there will be no additional American boots on the ground.

"The [Obama] administration don't have that in mind or in planning, and we accept that," he said.

Watch the full interview on Charlie Rose's PBS program on Friday.

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