Iraqi PM, KRG president discuss plan to retake Mosul
BAGHDADIraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Masoud Barzani, president of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, have discussed an upcoming military campaign to retake the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-held city of Mosul.
“The federal government [of Iraq] supports the political, security and economic stability of the Kurdistan region,” the prime minister asserted.
“But there are some issues that have not been resolved since [the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in] 2003,” he added.
“We discussed those issues today with a view to shouldering our responsibility to provide all Iraqis with a decent life, including residents of the [Kurdish] region,” he said.
“We have reached the final stages of planning the liberation of Mosul,” al-Abadi went on. “Coordination is ongoing between army commanders in Baghdad, military leaders in Kurdistan and the international coalition.”
Barzani, for his part, stressed: “Our priority is to defeat terrorism and cleanse Iraq of the Daesh terrorist group,” using an Arabic acronym for ISIL.
“We have held talks with Prime Minister al-Abadi and have agreed on many issues,” he said. “There has been positive coordination between the federal government [in Baghdad] and the KRG regarding the Mosul campaign.”
Barzani added: “Our relations with Baghdad - now and in [the] future - must be based on mutual understanding.”
The KRG president arrived in Baghdad on Sept. 29 in his first visit to the Iraqi capital in three years.
In mid-2014, ISIL captured Mosul - Iraq’s second largest city - along with vast swathes of territory in the country’s northern and western regions.
Recent months have seen the Iraqi army - backed by a coalition led by the U.S. - retake much territory from the jihadist group. Nevertheless, ISIL remains in control of several parts of the country, including Mosul.
Iraqi troops and Kurdish peshmerga fighters have recently captured a number of areas on the outskirts of Mosul, which Iraqi officials have vowed to recapture by year’s end.