The Secretary-General for the Ministry of Peshmerga, Jabar Yawar, has refuted the claims that the Kurdish Peshmerga will be deployed to the disputed area of Kirkuk to assist Iraqi Security forces. Yawar stated during a press confrence that, “So far there has been no official meeting between KRG’s Ministry of Peshmerga and Iraq’s Ministry of Defense or between the regional government and the Iraqi federal government on how to deploy the Peshmerga forces alongside the Iraqi federal forces in the disputed territories. There has been a mistake in the reporting of some media outlets that they will be back in this week or the week after. These reports don’t have any basis in reality. There is no decision.”
Jabar Yawar accused the United States coalition of circulating the information and was quick to refute the claims while shifting the blame towards the coalition. He said, “These forces are here to fight against ISIS. Surely they think it is good for all the forces in federal Iraq to be in coordination with each other in the fight against ISIS.”
Colonel Ryan Dillon, coalition official, stated that, “We already know ISIS feeds off of instability and sectarian divides. For them to conduct attacks in that area where there are already tensions is something that is not uncommon.”The divide between the Peshmerga and coalition forces is a clear indicator of the confusion and disconnect that the region suffers from. The Islamic State has carried out a number of terror attacks in the form of ambushes and IEDs since the turnover of Kirkuk in October when Iraq/Iran supported militias took over the territory, force the Peshmerga to withdraw from the area. The utilization of the Peshmerga to aid in stabilizing the region is an incredibly viable option but if the Kurds do not see eye to eye with the coalition or central Iraqi government then it isn’t likely the integration of their forces will be successful. As always, time will tell.