ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Peshmerga have “done their part,” taking responsibility for clearing ISIS from the outskirts of Mosul and now the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is waiting for Iraqi forces to enter the city with support of coalition forces, said Hemin Hawrami, head of foreign relations for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
The fight for Mosul is one that ISIS knows they are going to lose. Therefore, their plan has been to make reclaiming the territory as difficult as possible for Kurdish and Iraqi forces, Hawrami said, adding that the Peshmerga have demined 14,000 explosives so far.
Hawrami spoke to Rudaw after a press conference at the University of Kurdistan Hawler on Tuesday. He explained how Kurdish President Masoud Barzani had contacted then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the spring of 2014 suggesting a joint operation to prevent ISIS from taking Mosul, a suggestion Maliki rejected arguing that Barzani was just looking for an excuse to bring Peshmerga into Mosul.
The KDP’s foreign relations head stressed that a plan still needed to be formulated for after the military operation, and bemoaned that there are too many players involved with asymmetrical interests that have yet to be fully articulated, let alone agreed upon.