The Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Masrour Barzani noted they had reviewed the plan for the Mosul battle and Peshmerga would “definitely” participate in the offensive.
“But of course, there will be some limitations [on] how far they can go,” Barzani said in an interview with Sky News.
“But Peshmergas were very determined to defeat ISIS, of course they did, but there was the heavy cost, and of course we had many casualties,” the chancellor said. “With more adequate, better equipment, our casualties would have been much less, and I think the enemy would have been defeated much quicker.”
Concerning the areas already liberated by the Peshmerga, Barzani says they will not be evacuated by the Kurds after the Mosul operation is accomplished, as the Kurds believe they have taken no one’s land.
“There are some geographic limitations that we don’t want to go to the areas that would probably create some sensitivities…But on the plan, it’s very clear how far the Peshmergas can go,” the Chancellor continued.
“We have just reclaimed what has initially been ours. Now we have chance to make it right, we made it right. we are going to defend it.”
Barzani explained the diversity of ethnic and religious groups in Mosul had to be considered before the offensive began.
“Some of the forces that are not well accepted by the local communities must not try to get into the city, basically to not irritate the population or to not push them to collaborate with [IS],” he said.
Despite the lack of sufficient support for the Kurdish forces, Barzani believes that because of the sensitive tensions among the regional players, the Peshmerga forces have been crucial boots on the ground in the anti-IS efforts.
“We do understand that perhaps there are some regional players that may not be very happy and satisfied with the kind of weapons received by the Peshmergas, as they think they would strengthen the Peshmerga forces, and this is not in their best interest, but again I would definitely argue that is not the correct calculation for how things are; because the strength of the Peshmerga, the strength of Kurdistan are definitely going to help not only Iraq but the entire region.”
The Chancellor of KRSC revealed that a comprehensive plan for the Mosul operation is now ready and the Peshmerga will certainly take part in the offensive with taking limitations into consideration of how far the Kurds can go into the territories.
“I think it’s going to be a difficult war in Mosul based on the information that we have,”
“They are preparing to fight, they are refusing to leave the city, they are digging tunnels,” he said. “They are preparing themselves to fight.”