NEW YORK, Nov. 10 (Press Shia Agency) – Progress in the military operation to dislodge ISIL terrorists from Mosul and the weakening of ISIL positions there and in other parts of Iraq should help civilians return to normal life, UN special envoy Jan Kubis told the Security Council.

Addressing the Council, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Iraq described the 25-day-old Mosul-liberation campaign by Iraqi government and Kurdish Peshmerga forces as “progressing well.”

“The Daesh caliphate in Iraq is crumbling away before our eyes,” Kubis said Wednesday, using an Arabic word for the ISIL. “But just recapturing territory and power is not enough; it is necessary to capture hearts and minds of all Iraqis from all parts of the country, to facilitate the return of internally displaced people to their towns and villages.”

Kubis pointed out this is the first time Peshmerga and Iraqi soldiers were fighting alongside each other, and he praised their operational coordination and planning in Mosul.

Regarding civilians, Kubis said people have begun returning to homes in liberated parts of the city, but the pace has been slow. He stressed that political, economic and social reforms are needed so that residents can have hope for a better future as a result of rebuilt infrastructure and restoration of key services and the rule of law.
 

The UN representative also discussed the presence of Turkish troops in the Bashiq camp in Erbil, which Iraq considers a violation of its sovereignty, saying the troops are in the country without the government’s consent. Kubis called on Turkey and Iraq to “tone down their rhetoric” and speed up talks toward the issue, which has been unresolved for nearly a year.

The Mosul offensive began October 17, aimed at retaking Iraq’s second-biggest city after almost 2½ years of IS control. The operation began with 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and 30,000 Iraqi soldiers backed by the US-led coalition against ISIL.

SPUTNIK/Press Shia Agency