Recapturing Mosul requires Kurds' help: Iraq deputy PM
Iran Press TV
Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:57PM
The Iraqi deputy prime minister says the army will need the Kurds' assistance to recapture Mosul, the capital of the northern province of Nineveh, from the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
'Mosul needs good planning, preparations, commitment from all the key players,' Hoshyar Zebari, who also serves as the Iraqi finance minister, said in an exclusive interview with Reuters in Baghdad on Monday.
'Peshmerga is a major force; you cannot do Mosul without Peshmerga,' he added, referring to the armed forces of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.
The remarks came on the same day that Iraqi forces fully liberated the city of Ramadi, the capital of the western province of Anbar, from the grips of Daesh elements, with the Iraqi national flag being hoisted above the city's main government complex.
Hours after the liberation of Ramadi, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, "We are coming to liberate Mosul, which will be the fatal blow to Daesh.'
Mosul fell into the hands of the Daesh in June last year in the first stage of terrorists' advance through Iraq.
In the interview, Zebari also said the battle of Mosul would be 'very, very challenging," adding that the Iraqi army may also need to draw on local Sunni forces and possibly Shia volunteers from the Popular Mobilization Units in support roles.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014. The militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.
The Iraqi army together with volunteer fighters has been engaged in operations to liberate militant-controlled regions. They have managed to liberate some key towns and villages from the grips of Daesh, including Tikrit and Baiji in Salahuddin Province.
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