IRAQ NEWS: Louis Sepeda, the chief of Spain’s military trainers team in Iraq, expressed his confidence in the ability of the Iraqi Army to keep Iraq safe and affirmed that Spanish soldiers had supported Iraqi forces since 2014 with training and advising. Sepeda also said that the time had not yet come to withdraw Spanish forces from Iraq despite the defeat of ISIS in the region, stressing the necessity of strengthening security in Iraq. He explained that Spain had 541 soldiers in Iraq and that they had trained 20,000 Iraqi soldiers from the Army and the Police, adding that 30 more soldiers would come from Spain to Iraq in the coming period. / Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) Security Council Chancellor Masrour Barzani revealed in a televised interview the three reasons behind the U.S. rejection of the results of the IKR referendum on independence, affirming that these reasons were not convincing to the KRG. Barzani said that the U.S. administration had never said it was against the right of self-determination or conducting the referendum, but rather was concerned about the timing, which could have negatively affected the war against ISIS. He also said that the United States was concerned that the IKR referendum would have consequences for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s chances aofs being the prime minister in the future. / Mahmoud al-Rabei, an Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) Political Office member, revealed in a brief statement on Sunday that the Nasr al-Iraq Coalition officially signed an alliance that consisted of the Al-Nasr (“Victory”) Coalition led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Al-Fatah Coalition led by Badr Organization Secretary General Hadi al-Amiri. Abadi had called for establishing an inter-ethnic national coalition and called on political blocs to join it. / Rapid Response Forces Commander in Tuz Khurmatu Thamir al-Husseini announced during a press conference on Sunday that a security operation to clear the surrounding area of Tuz Khurmatu was coming soon. Husseini noted that the operation had been coordinated by the Peshmerga.