The President of the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, Nechirvan Barzani, and an American general discussed, on Tuesday, cooperation and coordination between Washington and Baghdad to ensure the final elimination of the terrorist organization “ISIS”.
This came in a meeting in Erbil between Nechirvan Barzani and the official of the US Security Coordination Office in Iraq, General Case Phelps, according to a statement issued by the Kurdistan Region Presidency and seen by The Eastern Herald.
The statement stated that the two sides discussed “the latest security and military developments in Iraq, confronting terrorism and ISIS movements and operations in Iraq and Syria, the situation in the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar (north), cooperation and coordination between the Peshmerga (regional forces), the Iraqi army and the coalition forces.”
Barzani stressed, during the meeting, that “the elimination of ISIS is important to the security and stability of Iraq and the region,” praising “the cooperation and support of America and the international coalition for Iraq and the Kurdistan region.”
For his part, General Phelps referred to “changing the tasks of the American forces according to the outcomes of the Iraqi-American strategic dialogue,” stressing “cooperation and coordination to ensure the final elimination of ISIS.”
On July 26, Washington and Baghdad reached an agreement to withdraw US combat forces from Iraq by the end of this year.
The tasks of the remaining forces (the number is unknown) will focus on training and advising the Iraqi forces in the war against ISIS.
Since 2014, Washington has been leading an international coalition to combat ISIS, which took over a third of Iraq at the time, with about 3,000 coalition soldiers deployed in Iraq, including 2,500 Americans.
In 2017, Iraq declared victory over ISIS by restoring its entire territory, which was estimated to be about a third of the country’s area, which was overrun by the organization in the summer of 2014. However, the terrorist organization still maintains sleeper cells in large areas of Iraq and launches attacks between varying periods.