The President of Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Massoud Barzani urged against Turkish and Iranian military involvement in the battle to liberate Mosul from ISIS militants.
Speaking in an interview with Voice of America Monday, Barzani announced that the KRG’s two allies would refrain from active combat in the operation.
“According to what we know, Iran will not take part in the Mosul operation,” he said.
“We also believe that Turkey will not participate in the operation,” he continued.
“However if they [Turkey and Iran] wish to assist us with advisers, arms and logistics, we would be grateful,” concluded Barzani.
Barzani emphasized that the KRG’s Peshmerga forces would be dedicated to the offence because “As long as Daesh [ISIS] is in Mosul, the Kurdistan Region is in danger. So repelling Daesh gunmen in Mosul is part of Kurdistan’s interests.”
Clashes continue in Kirkuk
Barzani’s statements came as clashes between the Peshmerga and ISIS fighters resumed in the province of Kirkuk Tuesday morning in the village of Sahl al-Malih.
Peshmerga General Tariq Koyi told the KRG’s Rudaw news agency that two of his soldiers and dozens of ISIS fighters died in the clashes.
“As far as I know we have lost two Peshmerga, but at least four dozen Daesh bodies are in our hands now,” he said.
The renewed clashes came after Peshmerga forces forced the militants out of four villages in fighting spanning through the weekend and into Monday.
ISIS militants took control of Kirkuk and Mosul in June after crossing the Syrian border on the heels of fleeing Iraqi soldiers.