Iraqi official seeks more aid ahead of Mosul offensive

21/07/2016 - 14:39 Published in News/Iraq

hough there is still no date for the long-awaited government offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s foreign Minister said Tuesday that a third round of international assistance is urgently needed to help Iraq liberate its people from the Islamic State’s grip.

 

In addition to opening borders for Iraqi refugees and providing military assistance, the international community must help Iraq stabilize the ground it wins back from the Islamic State, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said during a Washington visit.

“We need to achieve victory in Mosul, but we should prepare for the post-liberation era. This is not only a national responsibility but an international responsibility to cut the range of time, start the third term of this campaign, and consider how to reconstruct the city,” Mr. al-Jaafari said.

Dozens of defense and foreign ministers will meet in Washington on Wednesday for a pledging conference, where 24 countries are expected to make financial commitments focused on humanitarian assistance, mine removal and stabilization programs. The Obama administration expects to raise at least $2 billion from governments around the world, according to the State Department.

The United Nations is preparing to make its largest humanitarian relief operation of the year to provide shelter, sanitation, food and water for three to 12 months after Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, is liberated.

U..S. and private military analysts say Islamic State has over half the land it controlled in Iraq in recent months — including Fallujah, which was recaptured last month. Now, government forces have focused in on Mosul, a city controlled by the Islamic State for almost three years.