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Iraqi commander says U.S.-Islamic State border talks “failed”

A Shi’ite volunteer wearing a mask, who has joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), looks on during a parade on a street in Kanaan, Diyala province, June 26, 2014.

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – An Iraqi commander announced on Wednesday the failure of negotiation talks between the U.S. and Islamic State, under which the extremist group was asked to withdraw from the Iraqi-Syrian border in return for a safe exit for the families of its militants.

Iraqi website Almaalomah quoted Commander of the Western Axis of the Popular Mobilization Forces Qassem Moselh as saying that the American and Syrian Democratic Forces failed to reach a deal with Islamic State to withdraw from the Syrian cities of Hajin and Baghur on the joint border with Iraq.

“The talks kicked off two weeks ago but collapsed after the U.S. asked the IS militants to surrender and give themselves up in return for ensuring a safe haven for their families and allowing food supplies into these areas,” the commander added.

The U.S.-led international coalition warplanes intensified their airstrikes against IS hotbeds on the Iraqi—Syrian border following the collapse of talks, he further said.

The U.S. military said Tuesday it struck a mosque in the small town of Baghouz that had allegedly been used as an Islamic State control center.

The air raid was launched in support of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. It said the airstrike occurred as IS was using the mosque to direct attacks and employ suicide car bombs against the Syrian Democratic Forces.



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