"We have a deal with America, between the Pentagon and the Peshmerga ministry — and with the Iraqi government — that the defense lines before the Mosul operation are non-negotiable… Our only goal is to protect the security of people in these areas and for the Peshmerga to back it. We will never ever again let you be displaced and you can count on us for that," Barzani said, as cited by the Rudaw media network.
Barzani, who was speaking from the town of Bashiqa, defended the participation of the Kurdish forces in the Mosul battle by saying that it was important for the security and stability of the Kurdistan Region and its people that the Peshmerga take part in the Mosul battle. He also noted that before Daesh entered Mosul there were 300,000 Kurds living in the city.
On October 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi launched the operation to retake the city. The operation began with 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and 30,000 Iraqi soldiers backed by the US-led anti-terror coalition.