Operations room between Peshmerga, Iraqi army to open Tuesday: commander

A combined picture of Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi Security Forces

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A joint operations room between the Iraqi military and Peshmerga forces will begin work on Tuesday, a Peshmerga commander said on Monday.

Mahmoud Sangawi, head of the Garmaser frontline of the Peshmerga forces, said the joint operations room would begin its work in the area, which falls in eastern and southeastern Kirkuk.

“Tomorrow, in the first phase the joint operations room between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi army will begin [working] in the area,” Sangawi told Esta Media Network.

His comments came after a delegation from the Kurdistan Region presidency and the ministry of Peshmerga and commander of Unit 70 of the Peshmerga forces visited the region.

Kurdish officials have repeatedly called for establishing joint coordination centers between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces to prevent further attacks by Islamic State (ISIS) militants against the Peshmerga and residents of disputed territories.

A senior Peshmerga official said last week that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi had ordered the implementation of security agreements previously reached between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

Jabar Yawar, Secretary General of the Peshmerga Ministry, said the Iraqi military and the Peshmerga had previously reached an agreement to establish joint coordination centers for the regions of Khanaqin, Kirkuk, Mosul and Makhmour.

Efforts to establish coordination centers came after Islamic State (ISIS) militants attacked the Peshmerga forces near Prde town south of Erbil and in Kifri district in Diyala province this month.

Four members of the Peshmerga forces were killed and three others wounded in the attacks, according to Peshmerga officials,

Recently, ISIS militants have increased attacks against the Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the disputed territories, claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil.

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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