Commander of anti-ISIS coalition meets with Kurdistan PM to talk Peshmerga reform, disputed territories

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (Right) receives Coalition to Defeat ISIS Commander, Major General John W. Brennan Jr., Nov. 24, 2021. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (Right) receives Coalition to Defeat ISIS Commander, Major General John W. Brennan Jr., Nov. 24, 2021. (Photo: KRG)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani received on Wednesday in Erbil the commander of the US-led Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, General John Brennan.

According to a statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) the two covered various aspects of "latest developments" regarding the continued fight against ISIS militants.

This included a reform program in the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs that has the stated objective of bringing all its forces under a fully unified command instead of particular units being associated with leading political parties.

Read More: UN envoy urges Kurdistan Region to move ahead with Peshmerga unification

The two then addressed the security vacuum in areas disputed by Baghdad and the regional government in Erbil caused by significant gaps between federal and regional security forces there.

In retaliation for the Kurdistan Region's 2017 independence referendum, Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) pushed the Kurdish forces from the areas.

Since then, populations in these territories have 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.

In recent months, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the Kurdistan Region's Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs have increased cooperation and established joint commands in the disputed territories.

Read More: Iraqi security forces, Peshmerga launch joint anti-ISIS operation in disputed Makhmour