Kurdish forces to abide by agreements with Baghdad over Mosul liberation

HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Kurdish regional authorities on Saturday said the Kurdish security forces, known as Peshmerga, will abide by the agreements concluded with the Iraqi federal government in Baghdad and the international coalition about liberating the city of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh province, from the Islamic State (IS) militants.
A statement by the presidency office of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan said the Kurdish region is seeking for a future political accord among all parties over the administration of Mosul and the whole province of Nineveh after driving out the extremist militants.
“The Kurdistan region remains committed to the previous agreements between the region, the government of Iraq and the coalition forces, in addition to any other future agreement between those three parties,” the statement said.
Liberating Mosul would have humanitarian and political consequences on Iraq, Middle East region and the whole world, the statement warned, adding that such consequences should be taken into consideration.
“There ought to be a political agreement among the parties (Baghdad, Kurdistan and anti-IS U.S.-led coalition) in regard to the administration of the city of Mosul and the Nineveh province,” the statement said.
Such political agreement over Mosul is aimed at preventing tragedies from recurring against members of the ethnic and religious communities of the Nineveh province and to provide complete assurances to those communities, according to the statement.
The Kurdish statement came to clear up doubts declared earlier by Baghdad when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Wednesday called on Peshmerga to stop its progress in the Nineveh province under the pretext of defeating IS, amid accusations that the Kurdish forces are attempting to seize land as much as they can before declaring their independent state.
“The Peshmerga should stay where they are now, and they should not expand their presence even if they help the Iraqi army,” Abadi said.
Later, the Kurdish government spokesman Safeen Dizayee rejected Abadi’s call, saying “the Peshmerga will continue their advances and will not retreat from the areas they have recently liberated from the IS militants in Mosul.”
The Iraqi army and the Peshmerga are now fighting to seize back positions around Mosul amid a major offensive to liberate the whole city.
Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, has been under the IS control since June 2014, when the Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, giving opportunities for the IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq’s northern and western regions.
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