Kurdistan Region PM, Coalition commander discuss ISIS, joint Iraqi-Peshmerga units
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Thursday discussed crucial security developments in a meeting in Erbil with the number two commander of the US-led Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
A statement issued by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) stated that the two covered ongoing efforts by ISIS militants to stage various deadly attacks against both security forces and civilians.
Deputy Commanding General of Coalition Forces in Iraq and Syria, Brigadier General Richard Bell, expressed his condolences regarding the death of two Kurdish fighters in an attack carried out the previous day.
The two members of the autonomous Kurdistan Region's Peshmerga forces were killed and several others wounded when three explosive devices, thought to have been planted by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), exploded in the province of Duhok, according to a security source.
In turn, Prime Minister Barzani stressed the need to activate security coordination centers between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi military "to confront the threat of terrorism and to get a step closer toward stability in Iraq."
Iraq and the KRG have recently formed a number of joint units to try to bring stability to territories disputed by Baghdad and Erbil. There are also plans to form additional joint Peshmerga-Iraqi brigades in the contested areas.
Kurdistan Region officials have regularly warned that ISIS still poses a serious threat, especially in the disputed territories.
In retaliation for the Kurdistan Region's 2017 independence referendum, Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) pushed the Peshmerga from the areas. Since then, security for local populations has suffered from a lack of unified military strategy across large tracts of land ranging from Khanaqin in central Diyala province to Kirkuk and northward to multiple areas surrounding Mosul.