Kurdistan ‘Peshmerga have five gates to free Mosul, Iraqi army one’

‘Peshmerga have five gates to free Mosul, Iraqi army one’
Peshmerga soldiers standing under the Kurdistan national flag on one of the front lines in the Kurdistan Region. (Photo: Reuters)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Kurdish Peshmerga forces have five corridors to enter Mosul and free the city from the Islamic State (IS) while the Iraqi army is limited to one, a Nineveh official said on Saturday.

Bashar Kiki, the head of Nineveh Provincial Council (NPC), told Kurdistan24 that Peshmerga’s participation in the liberation of Mosul from IS insurgents is crucial.

“We need Peshmerga forces. Currently, if we wanted to control Mosul, Peshmerga has five options to enter the city while the Iraqi army only has one in the southeast of Mosul through the Kurdistan Region,” Kiki explained.

He mentioned that there was an agreement between Baghdad and Erbil governments to have joint security checkpoints in the province of Nineveh.

He also pointed out that the agreement was signed with the moderation of the coalition countries.

“In order to bring stability back to Nineveh, we should go back to that agreement,” Kiki stated.

Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq located in the north of the country. IS has occupied the city since June 2014, leading hundreds of thousands of people to be displaced in the Kurdistan Region.

Recently, in a successful military operation, Peshmerga forces, along with the support of the international coalition warplanes, cleared 11 villages from IS in the east of Mosul in less than two days.

Following the liberation of those villages, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi expressed his concern about Peshmerga advances and asked Kurds to withdraw and hand over the liberated areas to the Iraqi security forces.

Moreover, Khasro Goran, a Kurdish member of parliament in Baghdad, told Kurdistan24 that the areas that Peshmerga had freed from IS are part of the Kurdistan Region border, and they would not withdraw.

“Peshmerga forces have been present in those areas before, especially after the liberation of Iraq in 2003,” Goran said.

He emphasized that those areas would officially be part of the Kurdistan Region through a referendum where people decide which territories belong to the Region or Iraq.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

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