Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Former PM, Iran Want to Delay the Mosul Liberation Operations in Iraq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55359021

Iraqi soldiers gather to go battle against ISIS militants south of Mosul , Iraq, June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

Erbil – Despite the ongoing preparations in Mosul liberation operations, informed sources said that former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, with support from Iran and a number of Arab and Kurdish political blocs, wants to postpone the operations until Haidar Abadi’s government is toppled.

A source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Nouri Maliki, with the support of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and commander of Qudus Force Qassem Soleimani, is preparing to return as a prime minister of Iraqi government.

The source added that Maliki indeed began an Iran coup plan over the Abadi government by withdrawing confidence from his ministers, one after the other. He added that Maliki will then form a government through the alliances he recently achieved with most Shiite politicians, a number of Sunni politicians who are affiliated with Iran, the Change Movement, and part of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

According to the source, Maliki is delaying the liberation operation of Mosul so that it is not done during the presidency of Abadi.

“Maliki wants Mosul liberated during his time so that it appears as if he’s the only one who can liberate it,” the source said.

He explained that if it was done under Maliki’s presidency, then it will pave the way for Shiite militias and Iranian forces to lead the operations which will benefit Iran. Iran had always insisted that Qassem Soleimani will lead Mosul, and thus marginalizing the role of Peshmerga forces, Iraqi Army, Sunni Arabs, and International Alliance.

The source added that this will make it easier to reach to the Syrian border to transport weapons and Iranian soldiers into the Syrian territories.

John Dorian, the spokesman of the international coalition in Iraq, said that the forces led by U.S. had finished training of about 12 Iraqi factions and about 35,000 soldiers are now ready for the battle. He also pointed out about 6,000 Peshmerga and Iraqi soldiers have been set in reserve.

Director general of media and culture in Peshmerga ministry Halkourt Ahmad told Asharq Al-AWsat that it had been agreed that Peshmerga forces and National Mobilization forces will participate with the Iraqi Army in Mosul operations, with the support of the international coalition.

He added that the Peshmerga forces are ready to participate and that all parties agree that it is crucial to liberate Mosul before the end of the year.

He explained that the ministry had prepared for a single media reference for the operation.

Ahmad added that the Iraqi Army, Peshmerga, and international coalition will have the same media reports with a special committee formed to oversea the media during the liberation.

One of the most prominent opponents of Maliki’s government before Mosul was captured by ISIS, Ghanem al-Abed shed a light on what the terrorist organization is preparing inside the city.

Abed explained that ISIS had separated areas within the city and had deployed its soldiers, the Hasbah, allover Mosul. He added that Hasbah punish citizens by taking their money for things like smoking or trimming their beards.

He pointed out that ISIS is trying to take as much money as possible from civilians, where they were asked to replace their plate numbers with ones that hold the name of ISIS for large sums of money.