ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga on Sunday warned against what it called the “dangerous” deployment of Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias in southeast Sulaimani Province.
Halgurd Hikmat, Director of the General Directorate of Media and Awareness at the Ministry of Peshmerga, told Kurdistan 24 the latest movements by Hashd al-Shaabi forces in the Garmiyan area of Sulaimani is against the truce agreed between Iraqi and Peshmerga forces.
On Saturday, the Iraqi government deployed its army and Hashd al-Shaabi militias near Peshmerga front lines around the district of Kalar, located at the center of the Garmiyan Administration.
The deployment was meant to seize control over two checkpoints that have been controlled by the Kurdish forces since 2003 but Kurdish police, backed by the Peshmerga, refused to abandon the area.
The two checkpoints, run by local Kurdish police, are located between the districts of Kalar and Jalawla in Diyala.
Hikmat added that the deployment of the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shaabi, while the truce was still in effect, is a dangerous move and does not serve the de-escalation efforts which have recently been made to begin resolving issues through dialogue.
The Peshmerga official urged the Iraqi government to stop the deployment of forces and abide by the truce.
Speaking to Kurdish media outlets on Saturday, Ali Qadouri, the spokesperson of the Garmiyan Police, said that Iraqi troops and Asaib Ahl al-Haq militias had been deployed near Peshmerga front lines.
“We have been trying to resolve the issue through dialogue, but they only believe in using force to remove Kurdish police from the area,” Qadouri explained.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany