ERBIL— The Commanding General of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve voiced his concerns over the violations against the tripartite agreement that the US, the Iraqi government and Kurdistan Region worked out for liberating Nineveh province from the Islamic State (IS).
Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend made the comment as he visited Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani in Salahaddin Resort, Erbil, on Wednesday, according to a statement published by Kurdistan Region Presidency.
Townsend, heading a delegation of US army advisors and officers, discussed with Barzani the recent developments in the war against IS in Nineveh.
The US delegation described the violations against the tripartite deal to liberate Nineveh as threats against the stability and peace in the liberated areas of the province.
Under the deal, the Shi’ite militias of Hashd al-Shaabi were not supposed to take part in retaking central Mosul and to approach the areas safeguarded by Kurdistan Peshmerga forces.
However, the paramilitary forces not only entered Mosul but also set up several bases in the Sunni dominated city which is yet to be fully controlled.
Recently, Hashd (or Popular Mobilization Forces) made advances in some areas close to the Kurdish Yezidi populated town of Sinjar (Nineveh) which is under Peshmerga’s control and continued till they reached the Syrian border, a move strongly opposed by Kurdistan authority.
Townsend stressed that they observe the situation from close and take necessary measures to avoid further violations.
The official also expressed his contentment with the “strong” coordination between the Iraqi army and Peshmerga in the battle against IS.