BAGHDAD, Aug. 22 (UPI) — Kurdish authorities said the Peshmerga will follow previous agreements related to Mosul made with the Iraqi government and the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State international coalition.
In a statement, Kurdish officials called for a political deal with the Iraqi government and the coalition over the city of Mosul and the province of Nineveh after the Islamic State is defeated.
The statement comes after Kurds said last week they would reject the Iraqi government’s call for the Peshmerga to stop advancing towards the city of Mosul, where Iraqi government forces have been battling the Islamic State. The statement calls for a deal that would seek to prevent violence against ethnic and religious communities in Nineveh.
“The Kurdistan region remains committed to the previous agreements between the region, the government of Iraq and the coalition forces, in addition to any other future agreement between those three parties,” the statement said. “There ought to be a political agreement among the parties in regard to the administration of the city of Mosul and the Nineveh province.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi urged the Peshmerga to stop their advancement in Nineveh amid accusations the Kurdish forces are attempting to seize land under the pretext of defeating the Islamic State with the goal of later declaring independence.
Iraqi Security Forces launched an offensive to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State in March, supported by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes. Mosul is considered one of the most important battles in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq. U.S. President Barack Obama said he expects the city of Mosul to be retaken by the Iraqi government by the end of the year.