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Rudaw

Kurdistan

In response to Iraqi army Kurds say: “We hold key routes to Mosul”

By Rudaw 21/8/2016
“The Peshmerga is much closer to Mosul than the Iraqi army is. This is a fact which they have to bear in mind before claiming that the Peshmerga will not be involved in any fight for Mosul.” Sheikh Jafffar Mustafa, Peshmerga commander told Rudaw TV.
“The Peshmerga is much closer to Mosul than the Iraqi army is. This is a fact which they have to bear in mind before claiming that the Peshmerga will not be involved in any fight for Mosul.” Sheikh Jafffar Mustafa, Peshmerga commander told Rudaw TV.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Sheikh Jaafar Mustafa, a top commander and former Peshmerga minister has dismissed comments by Iraqi prime minister against Kurdish participation in the battle for Mosul as unrealistic, especially when the Peshmerga hold the key routes to the Islamic State-held city.


Sheikh Jaafar told Rudaw that he would ignore the comments of Prime Minister Haider Abadi because, he argued, the liberation of Mosul from ISIS would be impossible without coordination with and support of the Kurdish forces. 


“Iraqi armed forces cannot control any territory they lost to ISIS in Iraq without the help or coordination with the Peshmerga and the US-led coalition,” said Sheikh Jaafar. “The Peshmerga surrounds and controls many areas and supply routes on the eastern and western sides of Mosul city.”


“Therefore without coordination with and cooperation of the Peshmerga, liberating Mosul is impossible and the Iraqi forces will not be able to fight ISIS alone,” he added.  


Sheikh Jaafar went on to say that the Kurds have answered positively to a US call for coordination with Iraqi forces and participated in establishing the joint command center to work with the Iraqi and coalition militaries.  


The veteran Kurdish commander said that the town of Qayyara would serve as a good example to see how the Iraqi army operates on the ground and how it may take them a long time to liberate Mosul.


“They have not yet been able to liberate Qayara which is 50-60km south of Mosul,” he said. “I reiterate that Mosul cannot be retaken form one single front, rather they have to hold many other fronts through which they will be able to besiege Mosul successfully.”


Sheikh Jaafar said his comments were a response to Iraqi PM Abadi who stated last week that the Peshmerga should not move from their current positions during the battle for Mosul and that any expansion on the Kurds’ part is unacceptable.


“It seems that these days Iraq makes contradicting announcements, sometimes they say the Peshmerga is an important force for the Mosul offensive and sometimes they say the Peshmerga do not have to enter Mosul. They are totally confused.” he said. “When they achieve a victory on the battlefield, which is not theirs actually, but the coalition forces’, they become arrogant. What they say or claim is just for the camera and their claims will never come true. They have only front to enter Mosul, while five strategic roads to Mosul are held by the Peshmerga.”


Sheikh Jaafar urged Iraqi leaders to be more realistic and see where their forces stand in relation to the ISIS stronghold compared to the Kurdish Peshmerga, adding that the offensive for Mosul may be a long way away given that Iraqi troops are yet to free towns such as Qayyara and Shargat to pave the way.


In some areas the Peshmerga are only 7km away from Mosul, in some other areas 10km,” he explained. “The Peshmerga is much closer to Mosul than the Iraqi army is. This is a fact which they have to bear in mind before claiming that the Peshmerga will not be involved in any fight for Mosul.”

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Iraq | 21/8/2016
Hey Iraq get your arse moving and liberate the whole of gayarrah. Stop being a coward and fight. If you cannot do it stop complaining and let peshmerga do the job. Peshmerga could have done the job in a few days. But Iraqi army can't do it in two months. What a bullshit army. Same like the militia. Talk big but did nothing to be proud of.
Bakir Lashkari
Bakir Lashkari | 21/8/2016
It is Crystal and clear and that is the way how it should be! The Peshmerga commander is right and the peshmerga must relinquish any millimeter of the route to the Iraqi army, usually the Iraqi soldiers run away! Then it will be very easy for the Iraqi army to arrive in a staggered cot! The peshmerga should remain firm and not give the route price to the Iraqi army.
Nihad | 21/8/2016
We don't our peshmerga's inloved moust fight they should do their own duty and i know if peshmerga don't fight for mousl iraqi army are weak to stand like lets see maybe 1.300 isis militants is funny wen they retake faujah it was like 30.000 to take 300 isis. N the city was empty so it would take whole iraq to retake from isis n i bet if 300 peshmerga's soldiers they can retake with an week cuase they know how to stand the fight against isis not like iraqi can you believe it that 60 isis militants took over ramade and iraqi army were like 3000
Eugene | 21/8/2016
There is apprehension on the part of Baghdad that the Kurds would begin to liberate the Sunnis and arm them..neither the Sunnis nor the Kurds would surrender territory..thus would be the beginning of an autonomous Sunni-stan...allied with the Kurds..then asking for help..the Sunni Gulf countries..may decide to help the sunnis of Al Mosul..using Jordan as their proxie.Turkey may decide to help the Sunnis...maybe the Germans and some Europeans may help the Kurds,And Sunni-stan out...Iran may decide to help Baghdad out...perhaps Russia and China would help Iran(Persia) and Baghdad out...?
JamKurd | 21/8/2016
Well said commander Jaafar! The stupidity of Baghdad leader is endless. The Pesh are sacrificing to liberate Arab villages, and Baghdad is unhappy about that? Why don't they ask the Arab villagers how they felt about being liberated by Kurd heroes.

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