Iraq, Kurdistan Region still need Coalition support in fight against ISIS: minister

Minister of Peshmerga Shorish Ismail meets UK’s Senior Defense Advisor John Lorimer in Erbil, November 19, 2020.

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdish Minister of Peshmerga Shorish Ismail said Iraq and the Kurdistan Region still need support of the U.S.-led Coalition forces in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) militants.

Ismail met with UK’s Senior Defense Advisor for the Middle East and North Africa Lieutenant-General John Lorimer in Erbil on Wednesday.

The two military officials discussed challenges and the latest security developments in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, the ministry of Peshmerga said in a statement.

They also discussed ISIS movement in the country, including in areas where there is a security vacuum between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the statement said. They also highlighted the importance of coordination and cooperation between the Peshmerga and Iraqi army.

“Terror and ISIS terrorists are a real danger which threatens security and stability of Iraq and the region,” Ismail said during the meeting.

“To confront them, Iraq and the Kurdistan Region still needs the assistance and support of the international coalition against Daesh,” he added, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The British military official said UK would continue to support the Peshmerga forces in order to preserve security of the region and to defeat ISIS militants.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December 2017 but the militants have regrouped in the Hamrin mountain range which extends into the northern provinces – an area described by officials as a “triangle of death”.

On Wednesday, Lorimer also met with Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani in Erbil. Both sides stressed the need and importance of continued coordination and cooperation in order to safeguard peace and stability in the region, the Region’s presidency said in a statement.

The British defense advisor reaffirmed the continuation of UK support to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, according to the statement.

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