Arab tribes call for return of Peshmerga to contested areas: Spokesperson

After the retreat of Peshmerga from disputed territories, the Islamic State has regrouped and carried out many attacks, a spokesperson for Arab tribes warned.
author_image Kosar Nawzad

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – After the retreat of Peshmerga from the disputed territories, the Islamic State (IS) has regrouped and carried out many attacks, a spokesperson for Arab tribes in areas contested between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region warned.

“The number of attacks by the IS militants is surging daily,” Spokesperson Muzahim Hwit stated.

“The tribes of these areas will not stand for this and will do their best to bring back the Peshmerga forces who had a crucial role in keeping the safety of the land and its people.”

Upon the request of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in 2014, the Peshmerga entered the disputed territories to protect them from IS after the ISF collapsed under the weight of the terrorist’s attacks.

During the anti-IS campaign, the US-led coalition’s Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) helped coordinate between the Peshmerga and ISF.

After the Iraqi army with the aid of Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi pushed the Kurdish forces from the territories last October, the coordination ended.

Hwit described the current security climate in Kirkuk, Daquq, Tuz Khurmatu, the Nineveh Plains, and the west of the Tigris River as “a great catastrophe.”

He added that the IS attacks in the disputed areas were an undeserved “punishment” on the people especially as the extremists “commit great crimes by putting up fake checkpoints.”

In a recent statement, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) warned of IS’ re-emergence in the Kirkuk area and declared that the ISF needs the Kurds’ help and cooperation, as they are unable to provide sufficient security alone.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany