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Iraq to Work With Kurds to Liberate Province

Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani (R) and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi attend a joint news conference, in Irbil, April 6, 2015.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says his government will work with Kurdish authorities to liberate the northern province of Nineveh from Islamic State militants.

Speaking Monday in Irbil, capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, Abadi said the governments of Iraq and Kurdistan face a common enemy.

Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani, who spoke alongside Abadi, said both sides have agreed to form a committee of military and security experts to see how the collaboration will work.

The two men did not lay out a timetable for the plan to retake Nineveh.

The announcement comes less than a week after Iraqi special forces assisted by Shi'ite militia and backed by coalition air strikes drove Islamic State fighters out of the city of Tikrit.

The battle for Tikrit was seen as a key step toward driving militants out of the city of Mosul, which is about 225 kilometers north of Tikrit and is in Nineveh province.

Islamic State fighters captured Tikrit and Mosul last year during their rapid advance across northern and western Iraq.

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