BASHIQA, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said ISIS no longer poses a threat to the Kurdistan Region as he visited troops in the liberated town of Bashiqa on Wednesday, just 13 kilometres of Mosul's northeastern edge.
"God willing ISIS is no longer a threat. It is finished," Barzani said when asked about the threat of ISIS to the Kurdistan Region after the liberation of the town that is located about 80 kilometres northwest of the capital of Erbil.
Barzani reiterated that Kurdish forces will not enter the city of Mosul, adding that the Iraqi government also made the decision not to let the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary to enter the city, either.
Though Kurdish Peshmerga liberated the town on Monday weeks after besieging it, sporadic clashes continue to take place with remaining ISIS militants who are hiding in abandoned houses and tunnels they dug inside the town.
One Rudaw reporter described some of the clashes as not street-to-street, but tunnel-to-tunnel.
At least 17 ISIS militants were killed by the Peshmerga on Thursday, after another 12 were killed on Wednesday.