On October 4, 2015, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Stuart E. Jones traveled to Dohuk, in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region for a meeting with Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani, Kurdistan Region Security Council Chancellor Masrour Barzani, and the Governor of Dohuk, Farhad Amin Atrushi. Additionally, the Ambassador visited a camp in Dohuk province for internally displaced persons (IDPs). The Ambassador was joined by the U.S. Consul General for Erbil.
President Barzani and Ambassador Jones had a wide ranging discussion over security, economic, and humanitarian assistance challenges facing the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. The Ambassador thanked President Barzani for his continued leadership in the fight to defeat Da’esh. He praised the Peshmerga’s offensive of September 30, which was supported by more than 50 airstrikes from the U.S.-led Coalition and which re-established government control of over approximately 140 square kilometers to the south and west of Kirkuk. Additionally, Ambassador Jones commended the Kurdistan Regional Government’s and the Governor of Dohuk’s efforts to assist Iraqi internally displaced persons as well as refugees from Syria who have fled to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in search of safety and livelihood support, noting that Dohuk has taken in over 400,000 IDPs and tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. In particular, the Ambassador appreciated the Governor’s work to ensure the availability of public services for all residents of Dohuk, including IDPs.
During his visit to the IDP camp, Ambassador Jones heard firsthand about IDP’s concerns and needs, and also observed USG-funded humanitarian programs that are providing life-saving health, water, sanitation, shelter and essential items to vulnerable displaced families. The Ambassador noted the lead role that the U.S. plays in providing humanitarian relief to Iraqis affected by violence, with total U.S. contributions to the Iraq humanitarian response of approximately $534 million since 2014.