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Kurdistan

Iraq, Peshmerga to start Kirkuk field surveys on Sunday

By Rudaw 8/2/2019
A Peshmerga base in the Kirkuk area. Photo: Rudaw
A Peshmerga base in the Kirkuk area. Photo: Rudaw
KIRKUK, Iraq – Field surveys of Iraqi and Peshmerga positions in the disputed areas will begin on Sunday. 

Joint delegations from the Peshmerga Ministry and the Iraqi Defence Ministry will visit each other’s posts in order to paint a complete picture of the reality on the ground as they prepare to combat ISIS remnants together. 

This is the first stage of the process since sub-committees were formed under an order from Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Their purpose is to coordinate the establishment of joint operations between the two forces in the disputed areas. 

Both sides have selected their representatives for the committees. 

“The long-awaited coordination will materialize in practice soon,” said Major General Hiwa Abdulla of the Peshmerga. 

“It will go beyond words and meetings as ISIS militants are active in many places around Kirkuk. We should hurry the formation of joint delegations so that there can be coordination between armed forces,” he added. 

Peshmerga took control of security in the disputed province of Kirkuk when ISIS swept across the country and the Iraqi army dissolved in the face of the threat. Federal forces retook the area by force in October 2017 after the Kurdistan independence referendum. Security gaps exist between their respective territories and ISIS militants have used these areas to hide out and launch attacks. 

Rebuilding the relationship between the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces is seen as key to containing and ultimately eliminating the threat of ISIS. 

After their surveys, the committees will determine the positions that need both Iraqi and Peshmerga forces. Expectations are there will be nine such posts in the Kirkuk area. 

Now that the process has started, hopes are it will progress smoothly and forces will be in place within a few months. 

“Peshmerga and the Iraqi army will be jointly deployed in areas surrounding Kirkuk in a matter of two to three months. Internal police forces will run Kirkuk inner city,” said Iraqi MP Bestun Zangana.

Reporting by Hardi Mohammed 

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Outsider | 9/2/2019
Good step in the right direction!
Iraqi Kurd | 10/2/2019
Both side have found out the hard way that brains are better than one. Just thinking if we have done this years back how ahead Iraq would be but I guess it’s better to start now than never
Leon | 10/2/2019
I wouldn’t trust the Iraqis, never.
Sam | 10/2/2019
Leon. How about you use your real name then come back you coward
beetetet | 10/2/2019
Iraqi Kurd As Shia Iraqi! You are 100% percent right. Its just shame that we did not do this before. The Shia leaders have been very stupid past these years. They really did not understand that making ties with every group will actually help develop Iraq drastically. If you make good ties with Sunnis. There is not going to be any Al-qaida anymore but these idiots corrupt shia leaders like maliki cannot understand simple concept like that.

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