Iraqi army must do more to liberate Mosul: KRG official

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Kurdish Regional Government official says Iraqi army hasn’t performed as well as expected in campaign to retake Mosul from Daesh
By Idris Okuducu and Hemn Baban
The Iraqi army has not performed as well as expected in its ongoing campaign to recapture the city of Mosul from the Daesh terrorist group, an official in northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said Wednesday.

“In order to retake Mosul, the Iraqi army had to capture other areas first,” Jabbar Yaver, secretary-general of the KRG’s peshmerga ministry, told Anadolu Agency.

“Unfortunately, however, until now, they haven’t displayed the required level of performance,” he said.

Yaver added that the Iraqi army had failed to accomplish its objectives and had suffered numerous casualties in recent clashes in the Makhmour district near Mosul.

He also said the Iraqi army lacked a proper strategy.

“Several meetings were held regarding how to retake Mosul, but there were no detailed plans as to how they would go about it,” Yaver said.

“There are some important points that need to be worked out, including how the city will be protected once Daesh is defeated,” he said, adding: “The post-operation stage is as important as the operation itself.”

Mosul, Yaver stressed, was geographically important and teeming with different ethnic and religious minorities.

“There are Kurds, Turkmen, Sunni and Shia Muslims, Ezidi, Kakai, Shabak and Christians in Mosul,” he said. “An agreement must be forged to prevent the emergence of political and security problems [in the city].”

“Daesh must be entirely purged from the region,” Yaver added. “With the liberation of Mosul, the Kurdish region will become stable in terms of security.”

He went on: “Peshmerga forces are part of the anti-Daesh coalition. That’s why we will participate in the operation — but detailed talks must be held as well.”

On March 24, the Iraqi army began a much-anticipated operation aimed at retaking Mosul from Daesh, which captured the city in mid-2014.