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Rudaw

Iraq

Sources: Iraqi Army Asking Tribesmen to Resist Peshmerga in Jalawla

By Rudaw 16/9/2014
An Iraqi Army soldier mans a position on the frontlines. Photo: AFP.
An Iraqi Army soldier mans a position on the frontlines. Photo: AFP.

JALAWLA, Kurdistan Region – As global efforts to defeat the Islamic State’s (IS) forces intensify, the Iraqi army is reportedly calling on tribal fighters to prevent Kurdish Peshmerga forces from moving against the Islamists in Diyala province.

Lieutenant-General Abdulamir al-Zaidi, a senior commander of the Iraqi army’s controversial Dijla command, has offered weapons and funds to Krui tribesmen if they stand against Peshmerga forces fighting to liberate the town of Jalawla from IS militants, Kurdish military sources told Rudaw.

They said Zaidi had met in Baquba with the tribal chief and offered to incorporate the tribesmen into the military if they agreed to the deal.

"If you implement the task given to you, you will be assisted," a Peshmerga source quoted Zaidi as telling the tribal chief.

"We have intelligence on this matter, they held a meeting,” confirmed another Peshmerga commander.

Jalawla was under joint Kurdish-Iraqi protection until June, but fell under the full control of the Peshmerga after Iraqi forces pulled out two months ago.

There have been more Peshmerga-IS confrontations there than any other part of Kurdistan’s more than 1,050-kilometer southern border with the Islamists.

Last month Kurdish forces retreated from the town, citing the difficulty of street fighting in populated areas.

“We stand against any army that supports those terrorists,” vowed Mahmoud Sangawi, the Peshmerga commander in the Jalawla area. He said that members of the Krui tribe had fought against the Peshmerga in recent clashes with IS forces.

In 2003, the Iraqi government agreed to form a battalion of 700 fighters from the tribe known as the “Jalawla emergency battalion.”

Peshmerga sources said that more than 1,500 Krui tribesmen are former Iraqi army soldiers. They said the army has issued a general amnesty for the fighters, with the aim of reviving the Jalawla battalion.

In Paris on Monday, a US-led coalition of 26 countries agreed to help the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the war against IS.

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Anas.Brwari.Chicago.U.S | 16/9/2014
This thing is clear and there is no doubt of that and the Iraqi army forces are doing that as a hidden policy by the shiite government to make these areas out of KRG, but why the ministry of Pishmerga doesn't clearing that public ally and Sue the New Iraqi prime minister because these orders is coming from him as commander in chief also notice the U.S who are trying to make this failure government and country to stand up.
Hersh | 16/9/2014
What's amazing is that the ministry of Peshmerga gave the Iraqi air force permission to use Kerkuk airfield for their military aircraft today, believe it or not it is a "joint operation" with the Dijla forces, yes the same Dijla forces that are paying and arming former IS tribes to attack Peshmerga now. I hope they at least have good counter measures planed against the Iraqi army.
Arzi | 16/9/2014
That's what we get in return for going to Bagdad to form an Arab government. Kurdish independence now leave Arabs alone.
Flaminco | 16/9/2014
The Peshmerga should respond in kind, they should support and give refuge to any tribesmen in the region that fight the Iraqi army, there will be plenty of Sunni tribesmen that will want to fight the Iraqi army. Tactically the Peshmerga should also just let the Sunni tribes have the city of Jalawla, but fortify the defenses outside the city, Jalawla is a threat to Iran not Kurdistan, these tribes are inbedded with IS so it will not take long before they turn their guns on the Iraqi army again and become an even bigger threat to Baghdad and Iran.
Dabe | 16/9/2014
Just as I suspected. ISIS is the Iraqi army. Time for the US to drop Bagdad and go all in for Kurdish support.

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