‘I Do Not Believe There Will be Peace’

As the Kurds prepare to help take back Mosul from ISIS, their commanders await political negotiations with Iraqi leaders they do not trust for a future they cannot predict

ERBIL, IRAQ—When Kurdish peshmerga, Iraqi army, and U.S.-led coalition forces move to liberate nearby Mosul, possibly within two weeks, Islamic State fighters will not abandon their prized city and quietly slink away as many in Washington have predicted, according to the peshmerga’s top military officer.

“They will fight to the death,” said Gen. Jamal Mohammad Omer, Kurdish military chief of staff, in an exclusive interview in his office Thursday.

Just when that fight will begin, however, seems out of his hands.