The Peshmerga are prepared to conduct joint security operations alongside Iraqi counter parts according to officials with the Kurdish security forces. The move to unify their forces comes during the aftermath of the Islamic State conflict. Now that the caliphate has collapsed, ISIS forces are reverting to sleeper cells and insugency based tactics. A series of attacks in the Kirkuk region has left several of Iraq’s security forces and civilians dead.
Khanaqin Police Department’s Col. Diyar Shawkat Jawhar stated that, “Daesh, due to the elections, are trying to show off. They move at night. They attack two or three unlucky citizens. Their attack on police and Hashd al-Shaabi positions got three to four Daesh killed. We do not have the army [around here]. The army is not in this sector.” He continued to stress the need for increased security measures to prevent future attacks.
The Peshmerga‘s 3rd infantry brigade, which is commanded by Brig. Gen. Irfan Hamaxan, is prepared to step up. Gen. Hamaxan told local media, “If the Iraqi government requests from our higher ups in the Ministry of Peshmerga, we as the Peshmerga Forces of Kurdistan have always been ready and prepared to return to the areas where we had been stationed before.”
Presently there is a certain level of malice between Kurdistan and Iraq on several levels. The vote for independence by Kurdistan was met by an incursion into Kirkuk by Iraqi forces plus the temporary closure of Kurdistan’s airports. Iraq has also been extremely negligent in providing Kurdish Regional Government employees with their salaries leading to region wide protests. The two entities have a long standing cultural animosity that has been around since before the Saddam era regime. For the two militaries to set aside their differences would be a huge step towards a unified territory.
Featured Image Courtesy of By Claus Weinberg [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons