Bafel Talabani calls for ‘joint project’ to fill security gaps in Iraq

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Co-president Bafel Talabani on Monday called for a joint project to fill gaps  between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces in disputed territories.

Talabani met with Colonel Markus Maier, supervisor of the German forces in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, in Sulaimani’s Dabashan area, according to his press office.

The two sides discussed the latest security developments and mechanisms to confront Islamic State (ISIS) remnants as well as coordination between the Iraqi, Kurdish and Coalition forces, Talabani’s office said in a statement.

Talabani said ISIS movements still pose “a serious threat” to Iraq’s stability, calling for more coordination and cooperation between the Iraqi, Kurdish and coalition forces, the statement read.

He also called for “a joint project to fill the security gaps in those borders”, saying a “joint force must be formed to face any unwanted possibilities”, the statement said.

His comments come as ISIS remnants have increased attacks against Iraqi security forces and civilians in the disputed territories, claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil.

In 2017 Baghdad announced victory over the militant group, and attacks in Iraqi cities have since become much rarer, although troops continue to fight ISIS sleeper cells in mountainous and desert areas.

The militants still mount deadly operations, mostly at night and in remote areas.

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