ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region Prime Minister on Tuesday rejected rumors of negotiations between Erbil, Baghdad, and Washington about the redeployment of Kurdish Peshmerga forces to disputed territories.
“There is no official negotiation or meeting between Erbil, Baghdad, and America about the redeployment of Peshmerga to those areas,” Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said during his weekly press briefing in Erbil.
“Certainly, we are very concerned about the security deterioration in those territories,” he said, referring to the disputed regions between Erbil and Baghdad. “We support security and stability in those areas.”
Prime Minister Barzani mentioned that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) supports Baghdad’s efforts in providing stability and security to people in those regions.
“The KRG is ready to help and do whatever is needed in those areas,” he said, expressing the Kurdish government’s support to Baghdad.
Although Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the Islamic State (IS) in 2017, the group continues to carry out an insurgency as it did before 2014, with regular bombings and attacks in cities across Iraq.
Violent attacks by the extremist group have become more common in recent months, with a variety of tactics that include using fake security checkpoints to kidnap residents and Iraqi security forces, most recently in the provinces of Kirkuk and Diyala where two IS leaders had been reported killed.
Peshmerga, who were forced by Iraqi troops and the pro-Iran Hashd al-Shaabi militias to withdraw from disputed territories in those provinces, have repeatedly warned of the possibility of IS reemerging in those regions.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany