Peshmerga and Iraqi army to establish joint coordination center in Kirkuk after success in Diyala

author_image Hiwa Shilani
The Kurdistan Region's Peshmerga and the army held an intensive series of meetings recently. (Photo: Archive)
The Kurdistan Region's Peshmerga and the army held an intensive series of meetings recently. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Joint Operations Command said Saturday that it will establish a joint security coordination center between the army and the autonomous Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga in Kirkuk.

The Iraqi Prime Minister and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, recently ordered the implementation of an agreement between the Iraqi Army and Peshmerga in the security vacuum that exists within territories disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi federal government.

Maj. Gen. Tahsin al-Khafaji, spokesperson for the Joint Operations Command, told Kurdistan 24 that a joint coordination center would be established in Kirkuk on Sunday.

"We have established a joint coordination room in Diyala successfully, and we will meet tomorrow in Kirkuk, in the presence of a representative of the Peshmerga forces," he said on Saturday.

He pointed out that the work of the coordination room focuses on exchanging security and intelligence information about ISIS's movements in the region and confronting its threats.

At least four joint coordination centers are to be established in Diyala, Kirkuk, and Nineveh provinces.

The media spokesperson for the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rasool, said in a press conference held in Kirkuk that the joint coordination centers "will be under the supervision and command of the army, with the participation of officers representing all sorts of Iraqi forces (including the Peshmerga) and under the command of Iraqi Prime Minister.”

ISIS has carried out numerous attacks in the disputed areas, especially Kirkuk and its outskirts, using guerrilla warfare tactics.

The Kurdistan Region’s senior officials have repeatedly said that ISIS remains a serious threat to the disputed areas, their residents, and vital facilities.

Editing by Joanne Stocker-Kelly