UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Addressing the Council, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Iraq described the 25-day-old Mosul-liberation campaign by Iraqi government and Kurdish Peshmerga forces as “progressing well.”
“The Daesh caliphate in Iraq is crumbling away before our eyes,” Kubis said Wednesday, using an Arabic word for the IS. “But just recapturing territory and power is not enough; it is necessary to capture hearts and minds of all Iraqis from all parts of the country, to facilitate the return of internally displaced people to their towns and villages.”
Kubis pointed out this is the first time Peshmerga and Iraqi soldiers were fighting alongside each other, and he praised their operational coordination and planning in Mosul.
The UN representative also discussed the presence of Turkish troops in the Bashiq camp in Erbil, which Iraq considers a violation of its sovereignty, saying the troops are in the country without the government’s consent. Kubis called on Turkey and Iraq to “tone down their rhetoric” and speed up talks toward the issue, which has been unresolved for nearly a year.
The Mosul offensive began October 17, aimed at retaking Iraq’s second-biggest city after almost 2½ years of IS control. The operation began with 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and 30,000 Iraqi soldiers backed by the US-led coalition against Daesh.