Peshmerga allow Iraqi forces to pass through their frontline en route to the Battle for East Mosul in 2016. File photo: AA
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Through five subcommittees, the Iraqi Defense Ministry and Ministry of Peshmerga are ever closer to joint operations and deployments in the disputed territories upon a decree from the Iraqi PM.
An edict from Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s office has ordered the formation of a Supreme Committee and five more, locality-based sub-committees, giving the Iraqi committee authority for forming joint operations, joint rooms, joint work and coordination in the disputed territories between Peshmerga and Iraqi forces, Lt. Gen. Jabbar Yawar, Peshmerga ministry secretary general told Rudaw.
The first step is for the sub-committees to do a “field survey,” by designating areas where joint Peshmerga-Iraqi forces are needed. This will detail what forces need to be in a specific area, the locations of joint operation rooms and troop levels.
“We settled on the decision to notify the Iraqi federal government that we are ready for such coordination and partnership for those Kurdistani areas outside the KRG to preserve their security…” added Yawar.
Many Kurdish families have fled homes and farms in the disputed areas because of armed gangs — some believed to be ISIS remnants.
The events of October 2017 and Peshmerga withdrawal destabilized the security of the disputed territories.
“Now, the Iraqi Federal Government has come to the realization that what they did [on October 16] was wrong,” he claimed.
“We will together work, God willing, with our brothers in the Ministry of Peshmerga. Peshmerga is part of the Iraqi National Defense Apparatus,” Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul, spokesperson for Security Media Center of Iraq’s Joint Operations Command, told Rudaw.
The meeting on Monday
in Erbil between Peshmerga Ministry and Defense Ministry officials was for “all that is related to joint work,” added Rasoul.
The subcommittees were to eliminate possible “difficulties” between them improve coordination.
“We have to work together to confront the terrorist enemy, Daesh terrorist gangs and its remnants,” asserted the spokesperson, using another term for ISIS.
ISIS militants remain in the mountain ranges of Makhoul, Hamrin and Qarachogh.
“In all these places, there has to be total coordination with our brothers in the Ministry of Peshmerga,” added Yawar.
On Tuesday, the Iraqi PM said there is “unprecedented” cooperation between the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga. This could well spell the beginning of Peshmerga return to the disputed territories.
The Peshmerga have previously been open to working with the Iraqi Army, but have no desire to work with Hashd al-Shaabi and the Federal Police.
Many Peshmerga and Iraqi Army officers attended military college together in Baghdad and have professional relationships which predate what has been described as unprecedented cooperation between the two forces during the liberation of Mosul in 2016 and 2017.