15:28 GMT07 March 2021
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    KRG Foreign Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir said that the Kurdish Peshmerga forces are certain to participate in the military operation to drive the Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Mosul.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — The Kurdish Peshmerga forces are certain to participate in the military operation to drive the Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Mosul, Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Foreign Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir told Sputnik.

    "We are ready to play a role as we have done, because we are proud to be the front-line partners in this fight," Bakir said on Thursday.

    The KRG forces are currently encircling Mosul from the west, north east, along with Iraqi and US-led coalition allies.

    "As far as we are concerned, the Peshmerga forces played an important role from the beginning until now to push back and defeat ISIS [Daesh], and they can also play an important role in this last piece of the war," Bakir stated.

    He also noted that the liberation of Mosul will be the "most important" fight against the terrorist group in Iraq.

    According to US officials, the operation to liberate Mosul could begin in the coming weeks, possibly as soon as mid-October.

    "Just a few days ago, there was a meeting that was chaired and supervised by [KRG] President [Masoud] Barzani, between the commander of the Peshmerga forces, Iraqi Army commanders, as well as the coalition, namely the US, in order to put the final touches on the military preparation," Bakir said of the pending operations to liberate Mosul.

    Describing the meeting as "productive," Bakir emphasized the importance of having a well-coordinated military plan in place for the multiple forces participating in the operation including the Peshmerga.

    Falah Mustafa Bakir also noted that countries must increase humanitarian aid to Iraq’s Kurdistan region or millions of displaced people could face misery following an operation to liberate Mosul.

    "With this operation, all estimates are such that about 1 million people will be displaced, [and] more than half of them will be coming to us in the Kurdistan region," Bakir said on Thursday. "If enough measures are not taken, we would be witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe soon.

    "We can open the door, we cannot turn these suffering people away," Bakir stated. "We will provide them with safety, security and dignity, but food, water, sanitation, shelter — we cannot. That is why we need the international community."

    Mosul, in northern Iraq, is the country’s third-largest city and has been under Daesh occupation since June 2014. According to US officials, the operation to liberate the city could come as soon as mid-October.


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