Prime Minister Barzani’s statement on the launch of operation to liberate Mosul

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani released a statement today as the Kurdistan Region military forces and their allies started a major operation to liberate the City of Mosul and its surroundings from the so-called Islamic State terrorist organization. Below is the statement:

Today, the Kurdistan Regional Government Peshmerga and security forces launched an operation to liberate the City of Mosul.  This is an important event for the entire world since ISIS used the city as a launching pad for attacks against the region and the world. Having this important Iraqi city as their stronghold, ISIS was able to attract extremists to its ranks.  In coordination with the coalition forces and the Iraqi government, Peshmerga forces launched the operation to liberate the city today.

The Peshmerga forces, led by the President of Kurdistan Region and Commander in Chief of the armed forces Massoud Barzani, crushed the myth of ISIS in Kobane and Sinjar that marked the beginning of the terrorist group’s fall elsewhere.  Today, under President Barzani’s command, the heroes of Peshmerga forces started the largest operation to destroy ISIS.

In the past two and a half years and with limited capabilities, the Peshmerga forces have displayed unmatched resilience and heroism against the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world.  The Peshmergas also protected the humanity from a major threat.  Therefore, the international community should recognize the role of the Peshmergas and respect their sacrifices.

Despite the financial and economic challenges, the Peshmergas and their families’ sacrifices have become a source of honor for the people of Kurdistan.  The liberation of Mosul will only solidify Peshmergas’ pride and admiration as the guardians of the free world in the face of a barbaric force that threatens the freedoms and the stability of the world.  The Peshmergas are proud to protect all different ethnic and religious groups in the region and they are proud to fight to protect the free world.

The Presidency of the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistan Regional Government have displayed a great deal of flexibility to reach an agreement with the Iraqi government to make sure that the operation of liberating Mosul will succeed. The Kurdistan Region has fulfilled all its obligations within the international coalition against ISIS and provided assistance for all international organizations and local and international media agencies to cover this global war against ISIS terrorists.  Despite the financial crisis in the Kurdistan Region, it has sheltered more than two million Syrian refugees and Iraq’s internally displaced persons, increasing the population of the region by 32 percent.  The Kurdistan Region has been hosting and providing for these refugees and IDPs without receiving adequate assistance.

Today, the major operation started, however it’s a reminder that the global security is integrated and connected together.  The emergence of ISIS in Iraq and Syria has become a threat against the entire world and the dangers of this group is no longer limited within the borders of a number of countries. In order to destroy ISIS and prevent the emergence of similar groups, the countries in the region and the international community must work together to find permanent solutions for countries whose disputes and problems provide a ground for such organisatoins to emerge and thrive. Therefore, a carefully designed system is greatly needed to administer the region after ISIS, along with finding political solutions for standing issues.  The Kurdistan Regional Government is ready to play a major role in securing a peaceful solution in the region.

As the operation to liberate Mosul is underway, we salute the Peshmergas and we ask God to bless them along with all Iraqi and international coalition forces fighting to free Mosul and its surroundings.  We ask God to protect the civilians of Mosul and its surroundings. We pray that Mosul once again reclaims its position as a main and advanced city in the region, spared from destruction.

Nechirvan Barzani
Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region
October 17th, 2016

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