Iraqi army units position themselves between a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter and an area captured by Hashd al-Shaabi in the Shingal region. Photo: Chris Johannes | Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said on Tuesday that the encroachment of any force on Kurdish territories is unacceptable and that any such movement goes against a joint plan that Kurdish, Iraqi and coalition forces had drawn up prior to the Mosul offensive.
“It is absolutely not acceptable for any force to cross the boundaries of Kurdistan and impose its will,” Barzani had said in a meeting with a delegation of US military personnel, according to a statement from the president’s office, in a clear reference to the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi.
The statement read that Barzani said it was regrettable that there was no plan for post-ISIS Mosul despite his insistence prior to the October offensive “for a military, political and administrative plan for the city.”
This, according to the Kurdish president, jeopardizes peace in the region.
“If their [Hashd] aim is fighting terrorists, there is no problem,” Barzani said according to the presidential statement. “But if the aim is pursuing agendas other than fighting terrorism then there will emerge bigger problems and will lead to the loss of the achievements gained in combating terrorism.”
Hashd al-Shaabi forces have retaken a number of villages from ISIS in the past few weeks, most of them close to Shingal and Peshmerga territories.
Barzani said that an agreement reached last year stipulated that the Peshmerga, Iraqi and coalition forces would be the only ones in the region and that a joint force would be in charge of security.
He believed that the presence of Hashd forces in the region violates that agreement.
“This situation proves our fear of lack of a post-ISIS administrative plan was justified,” Barzani said.