Iraq says to work with Kurdish forces to retake Mosul

ATHENS Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:57am EDT

1 of 4. A burnt vehicle is seen during clashes between Iraqi security forces and al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 10, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

ATHENS (Reuters) - Baghdad will cooperate with Kurdish forces to try to drive militant out of Mosul, Iraq's foreign minister said on Wednesday, a day after an al Qaeda splinter group seized the country's second biggest city.

"There will be closer cooperation between Baghdad and the regional Kurdistan government to work together and flush out these foreign fighters," Hoshyar Zebari said on the sidelines of a EU-Arab League meeting in Athens.

He did not give details about the cooperation between the two forces. The Kurdish Peshmerga have long been a force in the jockeying between Shi'ites, Kurds and Sunnis for influence and control of northern Iraqi oilfields.

Describing the fall of Mosul as "dramatic", Zebari called on all Iraqi leaders to come together to face the "serious, mortal" threat to the country.

"The response has to be soon," he said. "You cannot leave these people to stay there to entrench themselves for a long time."

Earlier on Wednesday, security sources said militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an offshoot of al Qaeda, advanced into the oil refinery town of Baiji, setting the courthouse and police station on fire.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Writing by Deepa Babington; Editing by Alison Williams)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
AlanDew wrote:
Mr Zibry should not speak on behalf of the Kurdistan regional government. He only represents the government of Maliki not the Kurds.

Jun 11, 2014 5:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
wallylind wrote:
The US too should aid the Kurds in retaking Mosul and other Iraqi territory, and press Iraq to reward the Kurd with concessions in the area. The Peshmerga is probably the best military in the region and, if they don’t have to operate too far from their base, could retake some of the lost territory, and put pressure on the Islamists rear. It’s really disappointing that the Iraqi Army hasn’t performed better in the face of a poorly trained and armed force. Although the Militants may be combat vets who have been fighting the Syrian Army.

Jun 12, 2014 9:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
wallylind wrote:
The US too should aid the Kurds in retaking Mosul and other Iraqi territory, and press Iraq to reward the Kurd with concessions in the area. The Peshmerga is probably the best military in the region and, if they don’t have to operate too far from their base, could retake some of the lost territory, and put pressure on the Islamists rear. It’s really disappointing that the Iraqi Army hasn’t performed better in the face of a poorly trained and armed force. Although the Militants may be combat vets who have been fighting the Syrian Army.

Jun 12, 2014 9:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.