KRG deputy prime minister condemns ISIS attack on Peshmerga forces

File – KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani on Saturday condemned an attack by Islamic State (ISIS) militants on Peshmerga forces in west of Kirkuk, while Prime Minister Masrour Barzani called for the implementation of security coordination between the Iraqi and Kurdish 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.

“We have to respond to terrorist attacks, and a security vacuum in those areas should not be left,” Talabani said in a statement.

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.

“These terrorist attacks tell us that we have to be more eyes-opened to counter terror and intimidation, and we should work to root out this danger which has targeted international peace and security,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) prime minister said ISIS militants were regrouping and pose a threat to the country.

“It benefits from the security vacuum in those areas,” Barzani said in a separate statement, referring to the disputed areas claimed by both the federal government and the KRG.

“We stress the importance of implementing security coordination between the Iraqi military and the Peshmerga forces,” he added.

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”.

The Ministry of Peshmerga blamed the “security vacuum” between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces for ISIS attacks against the Peshmerga 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.

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