23 February 2016
Nadhim Zahawi asks about the possible role of the Peshmerga in the liberation of Mosul

Nadhim Zahawi pays tribute to the Kurdistan Regional Government army battling Daesh and asks about the possible role of the Peshmerga in the liberation of Mosul.

Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon) (Con)

8. What discussions he has had with other members of the international coalition on improving diplomatic co- ordination against Daesh. [903702]

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr Philip Hammond)

Britain was a driving force behind the creation of the global coalition. We hosted the first coalition meeting in London in January 2015. I frequently discuss the campaign against Daesh with coalition and other international partners, including at a coalition small group meeting in Rome earlier this month.

Nadhim Zahawi

The Kurdistan Regional Government army has been valiantly battling against Daesh over a 1,000 km frontline since summer 2014. Will my right hon. Friend pay tribute to the peshmerga and say more about the role they may play in the liberation of Mosul?

Mr Hammond

I am very happy to pay tribute to the Peshmerga. They have proved themselves to be an extraordinarily resilient fighting force and perhaps the most effective force operating against Daesh. The UK is training and providing equipment to the Peshmerga. I had an opportunity a couple of weeks ago to meet President Barzani of the KRG, to talk about the liberation of Mosul and the role that the Peshmerga might play. I am pleased to be able to report two things. First, the KRG appear to have become more open to the idea that the Peshmerga will play a role in the liberation of Mosul. That will be very important. They have also agreed to Iraqi Government security forces being based in the KRG to prepare for the assault on Mosul. Those two things make it much more likely that we will see a successful assault on Mosul earlier rather than later.

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