In the early morning hours of October 17 2016, the operation of the Liberation of Mosul was started by Peshmerga Forces in Khazir, East of Mosul, along with Iraqi Security Forces from Gwer and Gayyara, both South of Mosul, heralding the beginning to free the Province of Nineveh from the terrorist group Islamic State. President Masoud Barzani gave a statement within the framework of the beginning of the operation:
“For a considerable amount of time, local and international media outlets have been reporting on the preparation for the Mosul operation which would drastically weaken the structure of the terrorists of the Islamic State. Indeed the Mosul operation is of enormous significance to the Kurdistan Region and it has been, among the top priorities of the Kurdistan Region.
It is therefore necessary to announce that the preparation for the operation to liberate Mosul have been completed and have paved the way to begin the Mosul operation. The preparations were reached after an agreement between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi military forces. The military tasks and responsibilities were distributed in accordance to that agreement. We thereby would like to reassure all the concerned parties that all of the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region shall remain committed to meticulously abide by the agreement. Additionally there is complete coordination between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi military forces in pursuit of preventing all undesired events.
Baghdad and Erbil have also agreed to establish a joint higher political committee whose task would be to supervise the affairs of Mosul after the liberation.
It is my sincere hope that this operation will be successful and that we will collectively liberate the people of Mosul from the tyranny of the terrorists of the Islamic State. Furthermore, I hope for the safe return of the IDPs to the province of Nineveh.”