ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The administration of Nineveh governorate officially submitted a request to Baghdad on Sunday for the return of Peshmerga to protect the province in coordination with Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
The security situation in Nineveh and other disputed regions between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi government has considerably deteriorated since the Kurdish forces were pushed from them.
In response to the Kurdistan Region’s historic independence referendum in September 2017, Iraqi forces and Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias advanced with tanks and other heavy military equipment to regain control of the disputed territories which the Peshmerga had protected for years from the so-called Islamic State.
Sirwan Rozhbayani, the Deputy Governor in Mosul, told local media that as long as the security condition in Mosul and Nineveh, in general, remains unstable, the administration cannot move forward with any reconstruction projects.
“ISIS activity has increased exponentially in Nineveh due to a lack of security, starting from inside the city and the surrounding districts until Shingal and the Syrian borders,” Rozhbayani stated.
According to the deputy governor, the request submitted to Baghdad includes an appeal for local police to manage the internal security of the city while the Peshmerga and ISF jointly protect the districts and sub-districts.
The security profile of the Kurdish territories that fall outside of the KRG’s administration should be dealt with by the Peshmerga forces, Rozhbayani added.
Peshmerga fighters have been recognized as one of the most effective ground troops in the effort to militarily defeat the Islamic State in Iraq.
About 2,000 of them have been martyred while fighting the terror group since 2014, according to the Peshmerga Ministry, with some 12,000 more wounded.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany