Iraqi President: it is not the responsibility of Peshmerga to liberate Raqqa

Deploying U.S. ground forces in Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) needs cooperation with the Iraqi federal government, says Iraqi President.

PARIS, France (K24) – Iraqi President Fuad Masum told a number of journalists in Paris that it is the responsibility of Syrians to free Raqqa province, and Iraqi forces to liberate Mosul city [in northern Iraq] from jihadists.

On Thursday, Masum told journalists in Paris that, “deploying U.S. ground forces in Iraq to fight the Islamic State (IS) needs cooperation with the Iraqi federal government.” He believes that such a decision does not need to be discussed and approved in the Iraqi parliament.

Masum continued, “Because there is an agreement signed between the United States and Iraqi government before that allows the United States to provide military help whenever it is needed.”

He noted that there will not be any clashes between the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and cooperation committee for exchanging security and intelligence information which is made between Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

“Iran requested to put the main headquarter of the committee in Iran, but I personally asked to put in Baghdad, and the result came out as I asked. Also, the committee affair is run by an Iraqi person,” added Masum.

In regards to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in liberating Raqqa, he stressed that the responsibility of Peshmerga and other Iraqi forces is to liberate Mosul, not Raqqa.

Previously, following the liberation of the Kurdish Yazidi town of Sinjar in northern Iraq on November 13 by Peshmerga forces, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani told a French journalist that Peshmerga forces are ready to fight jihadists in Raqqa if the international coalition arms Peshmerga.

Masum also mentioned that removing Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Abadi from power in today’s situation in Iraq is not in the interest of Iraq, and he stood against this attempt.