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Washington, Baghdad, Erbil Agree on Mosul Battle | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi soldiers fire a rocket toward Islamic State militants on the outskirts of the Makhmour south of Mosul, Iraq, March 25, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkaril/File Photo

Erbil – A tripartite meeting held on Monday in Erbil, ended in an agreement concerning cooperation between the Peshmerga, the Iraqi army, and U.S. forces in the battle for liberating Mosul.

The meeting was presided by President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani and attended by high-ranking army officials; the U.S. delegation which consisted of Douglas A. Silliman, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq; General Stephen J. Townsend, commander of the U.S. forces in Iraq; and Ken Gross, the U.S. consul in Erbil. The Iraqi army was presented by Abul Amir Zaidi, deputy chief of staff of the Iraqi army, and a number of army officials.

After the meeting, a statement was issued saying that several opinions were discussed about the liberation operation of Mosul.

“Defeating ISIS in Mosul was reiterated and deemed as a common objective of all parties fighting the group. It was also discussed that there has to be cooperation between the Peshmerga, the Iraqi army and U.S.-led coalition. Details of the offensive were discussed and the attendants of the meeting agreed on mechanisms of cooperation between the three forces,” the statement read.

Barzani expressed his wishes that the agreed coordination between the three parties would “lay the groundwork for deepening brotherhood, friendship and trust among the all the forces,” that are collectively fighting one common enemy, ISIS. He hoped it would put an end to the struggles of the citizens of Nineveh and help limit terrorism and extremism.

The details of the agreement have not been made public as of yet. The agreement comes after months of disagreement between Erbil and Baghdad on who should participate in the Mosul liberation operations and the post-liberation process.

Sources at the Peshmerga forces said there are six main ways to attack Mosul, five of which are under the control of the Peshmerga whereas the sixth is under the control of the Iraqi forces.

Iraqi political circles are waiting for a revolution from within Mosul against ISIS with the beginning of the wide-range military operation.

ISIS seized Mosul in June 2014.