Military cooperation between Iraqi, Peshmerga forces increased: military

A combined picture of Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi Security Forces

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The coordination centers opened between Erbil and Baghdad have increased military cooperation to pursue Islamic State (ISIS) militants, a military spokesman said on Wednesday.

Spokesman of Iraq’s Joint Operations Command Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji said the joint coordination centers had begun their works in exchanging information and dealing with several other issues.

“The coordination centers have contributed to the establishment of security and an increase in military engagement in pursuing terrorists, controlling smuggling and preserving the national economy,” Khafaji said in a statement.

“This step is important and serious in order to hunt down and prosecute ISIS terrorist gangs, prevent organized crime, and anyone who tries to offend the state and law, and it fills gaps between the Region’s guards and the federal forces,” he added, referring to the Peshmerga forces.

The Iraqi military and Peshmerga forces have established three joint operation rooms in Khanaqin, Makhmour and Kirkuk to exchange information and launch joint operations against ISIS militants.

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 in May.

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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