20:48 GMT09 May 2021
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    Deputy US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the upcoming operation to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from Daesh(also known as the Islamic State/IS) during a meeting with Iraqi Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani, Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said in a press briefing on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Blinken met Barzani and other senior regional government officials in Erbil on Thursday.

    "Those discussions… addressed Baghdad-Erbil cooperation ahead of the liberation of Mosul," Kirby told reporters.

    The officials also discussed US support for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the humanitarian situation in Iraq, Kirby said.

    Earlier on Friday, US media reported that hundreds of additional US troops had arrived at the Qayyarah airbase 40 miles south of Mosul in anticipation of the operation.

    The Islamic State, which is outlawed in Russia and many other nations, captured Mosul in 2014. In July, the United Nations warned that the military operation to retake the city could displace 3.4 million people and create a humanitarian crisis.


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