SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi arrived in Erbil on Wednesday to discuss the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) militants with Kurdish officials.
Kadhimi accompanied by a military delegation was welcomed by Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani at Erbil international airport on Wednesday morning.
Kadhimi and Barzani discussed the latest developments in Iraq after the October general election, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said in a statement.
Both sides stressed the importance of stability, economic development and the solution to the suspended issues between Erbil and Baghdad, the statement read.
They also discussed the recent attacks carried out by ISIS militants in the disputed territories and the importance of intensifying efforts and strengthening coordination between Iraqi and Kurdish forces, according to the KRG.
The premier’s visit came after ISIS militants carried out several attacks against the Peshmerga forces and civilians in the disputed territories in the past 10 days.
Twenty-two members of the Peshmerga forces and three civilians were killed in the attacks, according to authorities.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Iraqi and Peshmerga forces launched a joint operation to clear areas in Kifri and Tuz Khurmatu of ISIS militants.
Kurdish officials have long blamed a lack of coordination along a stretch of territory claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil for ISIS’ continued ability to wage deadly attacks.
Islamic State controlled roughly a third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017. Iraqi forces and Kurdish troops backed by U.S.-led Coalition forces and as well as Iran-backed Shia militias defeated the militant group in 2017, but its members still roam areas of northern Iraq and northeastern Syria.
*This story was updated at 10:14 a.m. EBL time