Two joint brigades between Peshmerga, Iraqi military to be established: official

A combined picture of Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi Security Forces

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Two joint brigades between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi military will be established, a senior Peshmerga official said on Sunday.

Deputy Minister of Peshmerga Sarbast Lazgin said the ministry had prepared units from the Kurdish forces to join the brigades.

“There is good progress between Erbil and Baghdad … Now discussions are ongoing about the arming and funding of these two brigades,” the Peshmerga official told reporters.

Lazgin said there should be coordination between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi military to face the threat posed by Islamic State (ISIS) militants, as the militant group has increased attacks in several areas.

He added that ISIS militants had increased their “terrorist acts” in Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Diyala, Saladin, Anbar and western Mosul.

“The Coalition forces, the Kurdistan Region and Iraq have come to believe that ISIS’ movements have recreated danger, and there must be coordination between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi military to face the threat,” he 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.

To fill the gaps, 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 the militants.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered establishing joint operations rooms in those areas to prevent attacks carried out by the militant group against the Iraqi and Kurdish forces in 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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