Kurdistan Peshmerga announce 'final' deal with Iraq for joint forces in disputed territories
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region's Minister of Peshmerga Affairs announced on Tuesday that his ministry had reached a final agreement with Iraq's federal Ministry of Defense that is aimed at restoring stability to Kurdish-majority areas in Iraqi provinces located outside the autonomous region's borders.
The announcement was made in a statement by Minister Shorsh Ismail after a meeting in Erbil with a delegation of the US-led Coalition to Defeat ISIS, led by Colonel Todd Burroughs, Deputy Director of Military Advisor Group (North) in the Kurdistan Region.
The statement quoted the minister as saying that, "for the purpose of restoring calm and stability in the disputed areas and eliminating terrorists to remove them from those areas, we reached a final agreement with the Iraqi army and the Iraqi Ministry of Defense to deploy two joint brigades."
"Soon we will finish the preparations to determine the role and tasks of the two brigades," the minister added.
Burrows wrote in a tweet, "Tremendous meeting with @KRG_MOPE Minister Shoresh! We discussed very important topics, including joint brigades and operational readiness. Our #Peshmerga partners are constantly enhancing their processes and capabilities to #DefeatDaesh!"
Tremendous meeting with @KRG_MOPE Minister Shoresh! We discussed very important topics, including joint brigades and operational readiness. Our #Peshmerga partners are constantly enhancing their processes and capabilities to #DefeatDaesh! #StrongerTogether @CJTFOIR @OIRSpox pic.twitter.com/qzG9LO6tPy— Deputy Director MAG-North Colonel Todd Burroughs (@DepDirMAGN) August 31, 2021
A senior Peshmerga commander suggested in early August that the process of forming two new joint brigades between his forces and the Iraqi army to face ISIS together in the nation's disputed territories would be completed within a few weeks, a time period that has since passed.
On August 12, a high-ranking military delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense held a meeting with a delegation from the Ministry of Peshmerga in Erbil province, in the presence of the international coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Initial approval was obtained at that meeting to form two joint brigades from the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army in the areas of contact between the two sides where a security vacuum now exists that ISIS militants continue to exploit.
Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced in October that they had reached an agreement to restore security and administrative order in the disputed district of Sinjar (Shingal), where various competing armed groups remain active.
The federal government says that it has implemented a large part of the Sinjar Agreement, but the KRG has said that it considers everything that has so far taken place a "formality" in light of the non-withdrawal of irregular forces from the city, without which little can progress.
Araji said in a panel discussion held in Baghdad that the Sinjar Agreement is "respectful and fair," and "although it will not satisfy everyone 100 percent," it was "signed to be implemented, not hindered."