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Iraqi Kurds Seek More US Military Aid From Trump, Welcome US Troops

© REUTERS / Azad LashkariKurdish Peshmerga forces keep watch in a village east of Mosul, Iraq, May 29, 2016.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces keep watch in a village east of Mosul, Iraq, May 29, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The Kurds in northern Iraq will need continued support for Peshmerga forces after the defeat of the Daesh terrorist group and would welcome a long-term military partnership with the United States, Kurdistan Regional Security Council Chancellor Masrour Barzani told guests at the Woodrow Wilson Center on Thursday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Contacts with aides in the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump have been encouraging, Barzani explained, so the Kurds expect additional backing from the United States.

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"We don’t think ISIS [Daesh] is the end of terrorism," Barzani said. "ISIS can be defeated, but if the political structure in Iraq and in the Middle East is not solved… there is a possibility that other terrorist organizations may reappear as we’ve seen with ISIS as the extension of al-Qaeda," Barzani said.

When asked about a permanent US military presence in Northern Iraq, Barzani was more circumspect. But he left little doubt that the Kurdistan Regional Government looks to the United States a long-term military partner.

"We certainly love to see Americans engaged very strongly to help stabilize the region."

Barzani emphasized, however, that the decision would be up to the incoming Trump administration and the American people.

The Kurdistan Regional Government operates its own military force, known as Peshmerga, which have been far more effective fighting the Daesh than the Iraqi military.

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