KRSC: Peshmerga foils PMF attack on Erbil-Kirkuk Road
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) said on Friday that it foiled a PMF attack on Kirkuk-Erbil Road and two fronts in Altun Kupri.
"At 0800 hrs, Iraqi Army and Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) - armed with American weapons, launched an unprovoked, multi-pronged attack on Peshmerga forces from the main Kirkuk-Erbil Road and two fronts in Altun Kupri, also known as Perde; west from Dubiz-Erbil road and east near the vicinity of Qarabag village," the statement said.
KRSC said the Shia militia wanted to enter Qushtapa in South of Erbil but Peshmerga stopped them.
Preliminary reports indicate Peshmerga forces destroyed 10 US Humvees and two tanks, including an M1 Abrams tank.
The heavy weapons were supplied by the coalition to be used in the war on Islamic State, but "are now used by Iraq's Army and PMF against the people of Kurdistan. "
The attack follows a large-scale offensive in South Kirkuk on October 16.
The statement added that in five days, Iraqi forces and PMF "destabilized at least three of the country's safest provinces."
Currently, an estimated 100,000 individuals are displaced in Erbil and Slaumani, needing food and shelter.
"PMF has damaged, looted and burnt hundreds of Kurdish and Turkmen properties in Kirkuk, Tuz Khormatu and Khanaqin in a campaign terrorizing local populations," KRSC said.
PMF reportedly did not hesitate to open fire on peaceful demonstrators in Khanaqin who wanted the militia out of their town.
" Our intelligence confirms the following Iranian-backed proxies have taken part in operations against Peshmerga since October 16: Asaib Ahl al-Haq; Badr Corp; Kata'ib Hezbollah; Abbas Division; Ali Akbar Brigades; Khorasan Companies, and Imam Ali Battalions," KRSC revealed.
The Council blamed the international community for their silence which has emboldened Iraq and neighboring countries to attack Kurdistan.
"The army ostensibly created to defend the people is used today to attack the people of Kurdistan," KRSC added. "The international community must now intervene and condemn Iraq's aggressive military attacks."
The Council reiterated that the ongoing oppression only further legitimized Kurdish fear for their future.
The Security office ended the statement by saying that the Peshmerga forces will continue to protect peoples and called on Iraqi authorities to "immediately stop its wanton aggression against the people of Kurdistan and withdraw all forces from occupied territories."