The Iraqi Prime Minister Hider al-Abadi said in his weekly press conference that the referendum cannot be held in Kirkuk, as the Islamic State terrorist group still occupy areas in the province and as thousands of civilians from the province are displaced. Al-Abadi called for dialogue and cooperation in order to resolve the disputed area issue. Adding that “Baghdad stands on an equal distance from all components of Kirkuk as part and parcel of the country”. Earlier this month, the provincial council of Kirkuk voted for a referendum on the province’s secession from Iraq and joining Kurdistan Region, the vote came after the council decided to raise Kurdistan flag in Kirkuk and its governmental buildings. Joint delegation from the two leading Kurdish parties of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Democratic Party had visited the capital Baghdad to discuss holding a referendum as well for addressing the disputed areas issue.
The joint delegation met with Head of the Shia National Iraqi Alliance, Ammar al-Hakim, in Baghdad during a visit to the capital to meet Iraqi officials. Following the meeting, a delegation member, Adnan Mufti, told reporters that the delegation had discussed several issues between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region with the Shia National Iraqi Alliance, and commented on talk around a possible upcoming referendum regarding the independence of Kurdistan. “A referendum doesn’t directly mean independence. It is the Kurdish will to express an opinion about it”, Mufti said. “We want to discuss with Iraq to resolve the issues and the ways are open. We think our meetings were positive and we will continue”, he added. A leader of the Shia National Iraqi Alliance, Ali Alaq, said they aren’t against the Kurdistan Region and they listened to views around activating Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution in order to maintain security in Kirkuk and other areas. The delegation visited Baghdad to meet with Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Parliament Speaker Salim alJabouri and other leaders to resolve issues between both sides as well as issues that have cropped up due to recent developments in Kirkuk.
Dr. Al-Abadi will meet members of American administration officials, U.S Vice President, Secretary of States and the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives as well as meetings with members of Congress and Senate to boost the bilateral collaboration between the two countries in Security, Military, Economic and other fields. His Excellency will conduct meetings in several institutions, international organizations; he will attend meeting of ministers of the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Tuesday urged Islamic State militants in western Mosul to surrender promising fair trials to those who give up fighting. “Daesh (Islamic state) militants should either flee or be killed. They have two options, either to surrender and we promise them that they will have fair trials and the second option is that they will be killed. They have no other option”, he have said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul on Tuesday to meet Iraqi forces taking part in the offensive against Islamic State militants in the city, this is the first visit of Mosul since Iraqi forces began the operation to regain the city. (On November 25 last year, Abadi visited Bartela sub-district near Mosul city). Abadi promised the residents of areas under ISIS control that Iraq will defeat the militant group, adding that Iraqi forces were advancing on all fronts with no retreat: “the defeat is inevitable”. Abadi’s visit to Mosul comes after Iraqi security forces regained control of the government complex and the museum building in west Mosul on Tuesday after a successful overnight raid.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with the head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph L. Votel, on Thursday to discuss the fight against the Islamic State. Votel expressed congratulations during the meeting with Abadi over victories Iraqi forces achieved over the militant group in the campaign to regain the west of Mosul and reiterated his country’s support to Iraq. The militants are essentially under siege in western Mosul, along with an estimated 650,000 civilians, after U.S.-backed forces surrounding the city forced them from the east in the first phase of an offensive that concluded last month.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi authorized the country’s air force to carry out raids against the Islamic State inside Syria: “We are determined to chase terrorism that tries to kill our sons and citizens wherever it is found, so we gave orders to the air force command to strike ISIS positions in Hosaiba [an Iraqi town] and Albu Kamal inside Syrian territory, as they were responsible for recent bombings in Baghdad,” he have said. “The heroes of the sky executed the operation and responded to the terrorists with amazing success”, he added.
Iraqi security forces launched an offensive on terrorists defending Mosul’s west Sunday, in what could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on the city. “Our forces are beginning the liberation of the citizens from the terror of Daesh. We announce the start of a new phase in the operation. We are coming, Nineveh, to liberate the western side of Mosul”, have said iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a short televised speech.Federal police and interior ministry forces were expected to start the new phase in the offensive by moving on Mosul airport, which is on the southern edge of the city, west of the Tigris River.
The Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Sunday the formal start of a ground offensive on western Mosul, the federal police units are leading a northward charge on the Mosul districts that lie west of the Tigris River, aiming to capture the Mosul airport, located just south of the city, according to statements from the armed forces joint command. The airport is the first target of a ground offensive to capture the western side of the city. Commanders expect the battle in the west of Mosul to be more difficult than in the east because tanks and armored vehicles cannot pass through its narrow streets and alleyways but they have secured many southeastern districts along the Tigris, have superior weapons: Humvees, tanks, missiles, surveillance drones controlled by computers in a high-tech van, and support from U.S.-led coalition air strikes.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday hours after Pence said the U.S. would stand firm with Europe and NATO. In a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday, Abadi referred to the “importance of continued international cooperation against terrorism”; 6000 American service members are currently stationed in Iraq. The counter-ISIS efforts have now reached their “last stages” Abadi added in the call, saying that the courage and sacrifice of Iraqis has inflicted a huge loss on the militant group.