Peshmerga ministry blames ‘security vacuum’ for ISIS attacks on Kurdish forces  

A member of Peshmerga forces is pictured during patrol

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Peshmerga on Saturday blamed a “security vacuum” between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces for Islamic State (ISIS) attacks against the Peshmerga forces.

ISIS militants attacked the Peshmerga forces near the village of Qayabashi in Prde town south of Erbil early on Saturday, killing three members of the Kurdish forces.

The Peshmerga forces managed to thwart the attack, said the ministry of Peshmerga in a statement.

“ISIS terrorists attacked a frontline of Peshmerga forces in the heights of Zurgazraw due to the presence of the security vacuum between the Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan and the Iraqi military,” the ministry said.

“The Peshmerga forces are always ready. Such brutal acts of terrorists will not disrupt the security and stability of Kurdistan and the region as well as the people of Kurdistan,” it added.

The Peshmerga ministry further said it had warned before of “terrorist dangers” in areas where there is “the security vacuum” between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

It also reiterated that cooperation, coordination and a joint force were necessary to be formed with the Iraqi military.

“The Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan will severely respond to the attack, and we ensure the people of Kurdistan that the Kurdistan Region’s security will always be protected,” it stated.

Kurdish officials have warned that the militant group is using a “security vacuum” between the Peshmerga forces and Iraqi army in the disputed areas to attack the Kurdish and Iraqi forces.

Earlier on Saturday, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani called on the Iraqi government and U.S.-led Coalition forces to speed up works to form a joint force between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi military in the disputed areas.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December 2017 but the militants have regrouped in the Hamrin mountain range which extends into the northern provinces – an area described by officials as a “triangle of death”.

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