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Baghdad, Erbil to work together to take back Mosul

Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi and Kurdish President Massoud Barzani agree to form joint committee for an operation to free Mosul from Daesh.

Baghdad, Erbil to work together to take back Mosul


Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Monday that the Baghdad government would work with Iraqi Kurdish authorities to liberate the northern province of Nineveh and its capital Mosul from Daesh.

"We visited Erbil today with the goal of coordinating and cooperating on a joint plan to free Nineveh," Abadi told a joint news conference with President of the Kurdistan Regional Government Massoud Barzani.

Barzani said that he and Abadi agreed to form a joint committee for a Mosul operation.

"This committee will include military and political officials from the Kurdish region and Baghdad government," he said. "They will evaluate how and under what conditions the Kurdish region will join the Mosul operation."

Abadi added that the date of the operation has been set, but declined to say when it would be. 

"I am in close contact with the people of Mosul," he said. "The people of Mosul will have a significant role in liberating Mosul."

Abadi's first visit to the northern Kurdish region since he became prime minister last year comes almost a week after Iraqi security forces, backed by the al-Hashid al-Shaabi Shiite militia, wrestled control of Tikrit from Daesh after fierce clashes.

Asked about al-Hashid al-Shaabi's alleged looting and burning spree in Tikrit, Abadi said it was not fair to make generalizations and accusations against the whole militia, but he said that some of them may have made mistakes and acted inappropriately.

"They are Iraq's children fighting together with the (Iraqi) army against Daesh," he said.

The militia also denied being involved in the burning and looting of houses in Tikrit at a press conference last Thursday.

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