Published: Thu, August 24, 2017
Medical | By Carla Vaughn

Mattis Praises Defeat-ISIS Efforts in Meetings With Iraqi Leaders

Mattis Praises Defeat-ISIS Efforts in Meetings With Iraqi Leaders

USA officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Mattis, who will meet Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defence Minister Arfan al-Hayali, will discuss the future of U.S. forces in Iraq after the recapture of the remaining cities under Islamic State, and the role they could play in stabilizing operations.

In a related development, Police Lieutenant Khaled al-Naseri told Anadolu Agency that Iraqi forces now hold "more than 70 percent" of Tal Afar's southwestern Al-Jazeera neighborhood.

Early in the morning, iraqi forces were grouped at the gates of the city before entering since several fronts in the city where, according to local officials, a thousand jihadists are cut off.

Speaking during a visit to Baghdad, Jim Mattis promised that the United States would stand by the Iraqi people and its military. "So ISIS' days are certainly numbered, but it's not over yet and it's not going to be over anytime soon".

Brigadier General Andrew Croft, responsible for coalition air operations over Iraq, said that between 10,000 and 20,000 civilians remained in Tal Afar.

The US-backed operation was launched on Sunday, a month after Iraq declared victory over IS in Mosul, the country's second largest city.

UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency also said it had received some 9,000 people at the Hamman al-Alil transit centre in the past week, and it was preparing to accommodate almost 30,000 more. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees is calling on the Iraqi government to prevent this abuse from occurring and to take measures to protect these individuals.

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In his meeting with Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani, Mattis thanked him for his strong leadership of peshmerga forces and being a supportive partner in operations to defeat ISIS.

Barzani has so far resisted global pressure to delay the referendum.

"That will be a political pickle that Mattis will have to work Abadi through", the analyst said.

Brett McGurk, the White House envoy to the anti-ISIL coalition, told the Associated Press news agency that a referendum at this time "would be potentially catastrophic to the counter-ISIS campaign".

"You see, ISIS is now caught in between converging forces", he said, using an acronym to refer to the militant group that burst into western and northern Iraq from Syria in 2014 and held sway for more than two years.

Arrived in Iraq from Jordan, the head of the Pentagon must after Iraq to go to Turkey and Ukraine.

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