President Masoud Barzani hosted a meeting on Saturday with US envoy Brett McGurk and Iraqi national security advisor Falih al-Fayadh to discuss Mosul. Photo: Kurdistan Region Presidency
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region, hosted a joint meeting on Saturday with Brett McGurk, US envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS, and Falih al-Fayadh, Iraqi national security advisor. They discussed the latest progress in preparation for the battle to retake Mosul and planning for post-liberation management of the city.
Barzani and al-Fayadh “expressed their satisfaction on the level of coordination between Baghdad and Erbil and the coalition in the collective effort to rid Iraq and the region of the terrorists of the Islamic State,” reads a statement from the presidency.
In the meeting, Barzani stressed that planning for post-liberation of Mosul should be equal to the preparation of the military operation. “President Barzani added that the post-liberation Mosul will not accept the old order and that drastic changes need to be made for the benefit of the people of Mosul who have suffered under the brutality of the Islamic State for well over two years.” according to the presidency’s statement.
After the meeting, US envoy Brett McGurk praised the success of the meeting on social media. “Highly productive coordination meeting on Mosul liberation with President of Kurdistan region Barzani and Iraq NSA Fayyad,” he tweeted.
Before coming to Erbil, McGurk traveled to Baghdad on Wednesday and held meetings with Iraqi officials to discuss the upcoming battle for Mosul. In a press conference in Baghdad on Thursday, McGurk said that the decision of when to launch the military operation to retake Mosul is up to Iraqi authorities.
Regarding the disputed participation of the Shiite militia Hashd al-Shaabi in the battle, McGurk said this was up to the Iraqis to decide. “This is an internal Iraqi issue,” he said.
McGurk also described the recent dispute between Iraqi parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri and defense minister Khalid al-Obeidi as an internal Iraqi issue that “does not affect our campaign against ISIS.”
McGurk denied any coordination with Iran over Mosul.