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First joint ops room formed in Khanaqin: Peshmerga official

  2021-05-20  | 
 Zhyan News Network
File Photo - Peshmerga forces in an area in Kirkuk, Iraq
 Zhyan News Network


SULAIMANI – The first joint operation room was formed between the Peshmerga and the federal forces in Khanaqin district in Diyala governorate to fill security vacuum in the disputed areas where Islamic State (ISIS) militants are active and carry out on-and-off hit-and-run attacks against Peshmerga and federal forces. 

The creation of joint rooms in the disputed areas between the Kurdish and federal forces have long been long called by the Kurdish officials. 

The Peshmerga and the federal forces have reached the final agreement on the mechanics and details to form join centers in the disputed areas in Khanaqin, Kirkuk, Makhmour and Mosul, Major General Rostam Muhammad told the local media outlets. 

The agreement between the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs and Iraqi Ministry of Defense are implemented in four phases, Muhamamd, who is the deputy commander of Peshmerga Qaratapa Axis 2, said.

“The first phase is the reopening of joint operations room to monitor the security situation in the disputed areas, second to fill security void between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces, while the third is the creation of joint checkpoints and the final point is joint operations,” he said.

The join operations room is tasked with garnering security intelligence in the area, to follow up on the events and registering them, according to the Peshmerga commander.

The Khanaqin joint center includes eight officers, four from the Peshmerga and the others are from the Iraqi army, the Peshmerga officer further said. 

On Monday, Commander of Peshmerga Garmaser Axis Mahmoud Sangawi told Zhyan News Network the Peshmerga and federal forces had agreed to form two joint brigades in the disputed areas. 

Attacks by ISIS militants are scarce in the Kurdistan Region, but ISIS militants stage hit-and-run attacks intermittently, exploiting security gaps between the Peshmerga and federal security forces in the disputed areas.

Five Peshmerga members were killed and at least two were wounded in the latest two attacks by the militant group in Qayabashi and Omarbli villages near Altun Kupri (Pirde) and Zinana sub-districts.

The disputed areas are a belt of areas stretching from Nineveh through Kirkuk to Diyala provinces, where the Peshmerga forces were expelled Following the 2017 aborted independence referendum that led to the creation of security void between the defense lines of Peshmerga and federal forces. 

Iraq declared the fall of the self-styled caliphate of Islamic State (ISIS) in December 2017, but the security remains fragile in the country, except for the territories in the Kurdistan Region.

ISIS militants perpetrated 456 terrorist acts in 2019, 270 in 2020 and 51 acts in the first three months of 2021, according to Jabbar Yawar, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs.

In August 2020, the UN estimated that more than 10,000 militants are still operating in Iraq and Syria. However, but the Iraqi government put the estimation at 2,000-3,000 fighters and members. 

A new study by Newline Institute into ISIS’s regrouping in Iraq shows the militant group focuses on creating mobile groups of fighters to conduct smaller-scale attacks.
 
(Zhyan English)