On Satruday, spokesman for the US-led coalition Ryan Dillon announced that US-led coalition troops and the Iraqi Army are preparing for the operation to liberate Tal Afar, west of Mosul.
Dillon revealed that US coalition warplanes bombed ISIS positions in Tal Afar town with 50 airstrikes last week. Dillon also added that 2,000 ISIS fighters are currently in Tal Afar town.
Dillon once again denied that the US-led coalition targeted the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) positions near the Syrian-Iraqi border.
At teh same time, PMU commander Jawad said in an interview on Al-Mayadeen Lebanese TV channel that PMU will not participate in Tal Afar Battle due to international and internal pressure. It is worth to mention that PMU has been besieging Tal Afar since last year.
In another development, Hoshyar Zebari, a leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), said that the referendum on the independence of Kurdistan region will not be postponed and will be organized on 25 September 2017 as announced before.
The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had contacted the President of Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani and told him that Washington wants to postpone the referendum, and that the US currently supports negotiations between Kurdistan region and the Iraqi government.
However, Barzani said in an official statement that “the people of Kurdistan will continue on their way and decide its fate”…”The peaceful coexistence that was the main objective of Kurdistan with Iraq in the successive historical phases of the two sides has not been achieved,” the statement added, “What guarantees can be offered to the people of Kurdistan in exchange for postponing the referendum, and what alternatives will replace the self-determination of the people of Kurdistan?”.
It worth to mention that the Sunni and Shiite Iraqis oppose the independence of Kurdistan region, as well as the Assyrian and Turkoman minorities in Kurdistan region and several Kurdish parties. Only few days ago the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan had expelled one of its old members “Farhad Sangawi” after declaring his opposition to the independence of the Kurdistan Region .