ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdistan Region Peshmerga Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday confirmed the borders of the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces would be based on the front lines held before the start of the Mosul operation on Oct. 17, 2016.
Based on an agreement signed between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government of Iraq, under the supervision of the US-led coalition, the Peshmerga will remain in control of front lines held before the Mosul operation began, Peshmerga Ministry spokesperson Halgurd Hikmat said.
“Both sides agreed and will be committed to that arrangement and, in the coming days, the borderlines will be reorganized as per the agreement,” the spokesperson added.
The Mosul liberation was a historic moment in the relationship between Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi forces as the two worked together to defeat the Islamic State (IS).
However, since the Kurdistan Region’s independence vote, tensions have increased between Erbil and Baghdad leading to clashes in Kirkuk on Sunday night.
On Monday, both Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia militia Hashd al-Shaabi took control of Kirkuk, which has been under the protection of Peshmerga since mid-2014 after the Iraqi army collapsed and failed to defend the city from IS.
Early Tuesday, Yezidi (Ezidi) units in the Peshmerga ranks said they reached an agreement with Ezidis within the Hashd al-Shaabi to let the militia enter the city without “any fighting or bloodshed.”
Although the Iraqi and Shia forces had not yet entered the area, Kurdish Peshmerga forces also withdrew from Makhmour and Gwer areas south of Erbil.