KRG PM orders Peshmerga to strengthen defensive lines

File – Peshmerga fighters taking position with their weapons on the frontline against the Islamic State on the outskirts of Mosul. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said on Sunday he had ordered Peshmerga ministry to strengthen defensive lines, following Islamic State (ISIS) attacks in Syria and Iraq.

“I’m deeply concerned by the ISIS terrorist attacks in NE Syria and Iraq,” Barzani said in a tweet.

“I have directed Ministers of Peshmerga and Interior, and security services, to strengthen defensive lines and measures necessary to protect the people of the Kurdistan Region,” he added.

ISIS militants attacked a military base of the Iraqi army in al-Azim district in Diyala province on Saturday, killing 11 soldiers.

The attack was one of the deadliest targeting the Iraqi military in recent months.

Separately, the militants attacked Ghweran prison in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakah on Thursday, aiming to free prisoners that include the group’s leaders.

Militants detonated a car bomb near the prison gates, helping dozens of inmates and flee to the neighboring Ghweran district in Hasakah, Reuters cited officials and witnesses as saying.

At least 70 inmates were killed in the attack, according to the officials and witnesses.

The Kurdish-led group initially said it had thwarted the breakout and arrested 89 militants sheltering nearby, but later acknowledged that inmates had taken over parts of the facility.

“We will align our efforts closely with the federal government and global coalition against the terrorist organization,” the KRG premier tweeted.

Islamic State controlled swathes of Syria and Iraq until it was driven from the territory in 2017-19 by adversaries, including a U.S.-led coalition, the SDF, Iraqi and Kurdish security forces. ISIS cells continue to carry out attacks in both countries.

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