In Rudaw

One more meeting to go until joint ISF-Peshmerga attacks on ISIS: military spox

An Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)-Peshmerga meeting to be held at the end of August will see the launch of “joint anti-ISIS [Islamic State] attacks”, a Baghdad military spokesperson has said.

Maj. Gen. Tahsin Khafaji, spokesperson for Iraq’s Joint Operation Command told Rudaw on Sunday that the next meeting between the two forces, whose location has yet to be decided, will see as yet unsettled agreements resolved.

“A very high-level meeting was held between the Joint Operations Command and the [Kurdistan Regional Government] Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs at the end of July, where several points were agreed upon while some other points remain up for discussion,” Khafaji said. “There will soon be joint operations by Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga against Daesh [ISIS] in the disputed territories.”

The Peshmerga ministry “requested some time” to review the agreed points with the Iraqi defense ministry, Khafaji said, the meeting between the two sides set for the end of this month.

At the height of its power between 2014 and 2016, ISIS controlled an area roughly the size of Great Britain, spread across both Iraq and Syria.

Although Baghdad announced the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq in December 2017, remnants of the group have returned to their earlier insurgency tactics, ambushing security forces, kidnapping and executing suspected informants, and extorting money from vulnerable rural populations, particularly in territory contested by Erbil and Baghdad.

However, Kurdish counter-terrorism units, who operate outside the control of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, and the Iraqi defense ministry launched the fourth stage of an operation against ISIS militants last month in Diyala province.

Iraq’s defense ministry and the KRG Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs agreed last month to establish three joint coordination rooms with the aim of eliminating ISIS cells active in Diyala, Kirkuk and Nineveh provinces, parts of which are disputed territory.

Iraqi Army-Peshmerga coordination between the two forces already took place earlier this month on a stretch of road between Kifri in Diyala and Tuz Khurmatu in Salahaddin. Source