Iraqi military, Peshmerga plan to establish joint forces in disputed areas: official

A combined picture of Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi Security Forces

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Iraqi military and Peshmerga forces are planning to form joint forces for the disputed territories, state news agency (INA) reported on Monday.

Brigadier General Othman Mustafa, director of press office at the Peshmerga ministry, told INA that the coordination process was continuing between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces, following the establishment of joint rooms.

The Iraqi military and Peshmerga forces established four joint operation rooms in Khanaqin, Makhmour, Kirkuk and Mosul to exchange information and launch joint operations against Islamic State (ISIS) militants.

Following attacks by 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.

“There is a plan to establish joint forces in the disputed areas to carry out joint military operations in areas that need a joint security operation,” Mustafa said.

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

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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