KRG Interior Minister Karim Sinjari (right), who is also acting Peshmerga minister, receives Iraq Iraqi Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah in Erbil on January 4, 2019. Photo: MOPE
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Peshmerga and Iraqi security forces are ever closer in closing gaps between their units particularly in the disputed areas after a high-level meeting on Monday.
“...security changes, particularly the condition of the Kurdistani areas outside the administration of the KRG, were discussed in detail,” detailed a Ministry of Peshmerga readout.
Karim Sinjari, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Interior minister and acting Peshmerga minister, received Iraqi Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah, the deputy head to the Chief of Staff for Iraqi Army Operations and an accompanying delegation in Erbil.
Gen. Jamal Mohammed, the head of the Peshmerga Chief of Staff, and Lt. Gen. Jabar Yawar, the secretary general in the ministry, were among other high-ranking Peshmerga at the meeting.
In 2016-2017 for the first time, the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga cooperated in the battle to liberate Mosul.
The two sides discussed the “normalization” of the ties between their two forces, the statement added.
The cooperation, however, was short-lived. In October 2017, the Iraqi Army supported by Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitias made a push into the disputed territories, and the Peshmerga withdrew.
There were casualties on both sides. Days of frontline face-offs and skirmishes followed between the Peshmerga and Iraqi Army in towns of Pirde (Altun Kupri) in Erbil and in Sihela in Nineveh province. Relations totally broke down.
Recently, ISIS has increased its activities in the disputed territories in gaps between the demarcation lines between the two forces.
The United States reportedly has pushed forth the idea of a Peshmerga return to a joint administration of the disputed territories in a bid to quell the resurgence of ISIS and resolve issues between Baghdad and Erbil.
The two sides have decided that the sub-committees between the two sides will start regular meetings next week.