Erbil-Baghdad dialogue crucial in war on ISIS: US official

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Kurdish soldiers of the Peshmerga. File photo

ARA News

Erbil – The US State Department spokesperson said they will not speculate about boundary changes in Iraq, and that the US will support an ongoing dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad in order to defeat ISIS.

The Kurdish president Barzani said in Bashiqa that the areas liberated by Peshmerga blood would not be returned to federal control, while the US ambassador said that the Peshmergas would withdraw to pre-ISIS borderlines [of the Mosul operation].

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s office said on Thursday an agreement on the withdrawal of Iraqi Kurdish forces from liberated areas of Mosul remained “steady and unchanged”.

“What matters to us is that Mosul gets liberated, Daesh [ISIS] gets kicked out. What matters to us is that that campaign is under the chain of command of the Iraqi Government in Baghdad under Prime Minister Abadi,” John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson said.

“And we know that Baghdad and Erbil have been in close communication in the months leading up to Mosul and certainly as it’s now being prosecuted. And we would encourage that dialogue to continue, but these are decisions that they have to make and they have to speak to,” he said.

“I’m not going to hypothesize or speculate about boundary changes here,” Kirby stated.

Moreover, the US spokesperson said that the new Trump-led administration would continue to support the Iraqi government led by PM Haidar al-Abadi.

“You might have the luxury of being able to predict and speculate about what’s going to happen under President-elect Trump’s administration. I don’t. I can tell you that we continue to be focused on supporting Prime Minister Abadi and his efforts to prosecute this campaign. That won’t change,” he stated.

“There’s no question that Peshmerga forces have fought bravely, courageously, and continue to do so. And we respect that,” he added.

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