Peshmerga and Iraqi army begin joint monitoring of ISIS in disputed territories

Iraq's disputed territories have long suffered from the lack of a unified security strategy. (Photo: Archive)
Iraq's disputed territories have long suffered from the lack of a unified security strategy. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An official from the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs in Erbil revealed on Monday that its fighters and the Iraqi military have began to coordinate their monitoring of ISIS activity in areas disputed by Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan Region. 

The disputed areas have suffered from the lack of unified military communication and strategy in large tracts of land ranging from Khanaqin in central Diyala province to Kirkuk and northward to multiple areas surrounding Mosul.

"The joint coordination centers between the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga forces began their work, a few days ago," said Brigadier General Othman Mohammad in a statement.

Mohammad explained that four out of six joint coordination centers have now been completed in different regions, following Baghdad-Erbil talks on their establishment in the town of Makhmour and other locations in Kirkuk, Diyala, and Nineveh provinces.

Those stationed at the centers "will submit their reports to the Federal Ministry of Defense and the Kurdish Peshmerga," he continued, noting that "the goal of these coordination centers is to monitor ISIS movements, monitor areas, and submit reports on the field situation.”

Mohammed also pointed out that both Iraqi and Peshmerga troops "are currently carrying out their tasks in monitoring and controlling those areas for security," explaining that he was currently "awaiting the launch of joint operations against ISIS targets; the main purpose of forming these centers to eliminate the organization's cells and limit its movements."

The Iraqi Joint Operations Command, which oversees both the military and police, first announced on May 22 that the new centers would be created.

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

Senior Kurdistan Region officials have repeatedly said that ISIS remains a serious threat to the disputed areas, their residents, and its vital services and infrastructure.

Editing by John J Catherine