Operations room between Iraqi military, Peshmerga to open in Kirkuk: official

File – Members of Peshmerga forces participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Another joint operations room between the Iraqi military and Peshmerga forces will be opened in Kirkuk on Sunday, a Kurdish official said on Saturday.

Deputy Chief of Staff of Peshmerga Operations Major General Qaraman Kamal said officers from the ministry of Peshmerga will begin work at the joint operations room between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces at K-1 air base in Kirkuk on Sunday.

“Peshmerga officers are also expected to start their work at other joint operations room in Makhmour and Mosul this week,” Kamal told Esta Media Network.

The first joint operations room was opened in Khanaqin district on Wednesday.

The Peshmerga official also denied reports that the Kurdish forces would return to Kirkuk.

“There is no decision for the Peshmerga forces to return to Kirkuk or other Kurdistani areas,” Kamal said. “We hope we can step to establish a joint force in the future in order to control areas important for both sides.”

Following attacks by Islamic State (ISIS) militants against the Iraqi and Kurdish forces in disputed territories, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered establishing joint operations rooms in those areas to prevent further attacks.

Kurdish officials have warned that ISIS militants are using a “security vacuum” between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces to carry out attacks in the disputed territories.

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,

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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