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Coalition not ‘directly involved’ in Fishkhabur border negotiations

Iraqi and Peshmerga officials held talks on Monday

The U.S.-led Coalition against Islamic State is not controlling the Fishkhabur border crossing between Iraq and Syria and has no plans to do so, a spokesperson told The Defense Post on Monday.

“The Coalition has not exerted any control over the Fishkhabur border crossing at the Iraq-Syria border, nor are there any plans for us to do so. Any reports to the contrary are inaccurate,” the spokesperson said.

In an emailed statement, the Coalition said “we are not currently directly involved in discussions between ISF and Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq,” but welcome and encourage dialogue that prevents the destabilization of Iraq.

Earlier, Rudaw news agency reported that Iraqi and Kurdish military officials held talks in Fishkhabur under the auspices of the U.S.

Last week, Iraqi federal and paramilitary troops advanced on the Fishkhabur border crossing. The area, which borders both Syria and Turkey, is within Iraqi Kurdistan territory and is a critical point for the Coalition to resupply its partners.

On Friday, Coalition spokesperson Colonel Ryan Dillon said the dispute between Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government had affected the anti-ISIS operations, hindering the movement of military equipment in both Iraq and Syria.

“We have also allocated surveillance assets to monitor what is happening in northern Iraq since we do not have advisors on the ground. Those assets would otherwise be used elsewhere for the defeat-ISIS mission,” Dillon told The Defense Post.

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