KRG comments on Erbil airport drone attack, return of Peshmerga to Kirkuk
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Wednesday commented on the recent attack targeting Erbil International Airport using two suicide drones and the potential return of Kurdish Peshmerga forces to the disputed province of Kirkuk, an area they controlled until late 2017.
Jutyar Adil, the official, said that official investigations into the attack are ongoing at a press conference held in Erbil and broadcast live by Kurdistan 24, adding that that the stability of the autonomous region is crucial for the stability of Iraq and the greater Middle East.
"We are online with the international coalition and we are still investigating the incident, and the necessary decisions will be taken after the investigations into the bombing are completed," he said.
Regarding coordination between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces in territories long disputed by Erbil and Baghdad, Adil said, "at our request, there has been cooperation between the two sides."
"We in the Kurdistan Regional Government need joint coordination in those areas to prevent ISIS movements," he added, referring to the security vacuums in the disputed areas between Erbil and Baghdad.
Regarding the return of the Peshmerga to Kirkuk, the government spokesman said, "We know perfectly well that it is our right for the Peshmerga to return to Kirkuk in cooperation and agreement with Iraq."
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 US-led Coalition to Defeat 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.