Peshmerga ministry calls on U.S. to pressure Baghdad to form joint brigades

The Kurdistan Region’s ministry of Peshmerga called on the United States and Coalition forces to pressure Baghdad to implement the formation of two joint brigades between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

Minister of Peshmerga Shorish Ismael met with a U.S. military delegation in Erbil on Monday, according to a statement released by the Peshmerga ministry.

The two sides discussed the protection of borders of the Kurdistan Region, the statement read.

The U.S. delegation praised the Peshmerga forces for protecting the border areas, reiterating its country’s support and assistance for the Kurdish forces, the statement said.

Regarding the formation of two brigades, the Peshmerga minister called on the U.S. and Coalition forces to pressure the Iraqi government to “complete the works” to form the joint brigades between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

“So that the brigades will be able to play their role and take responsibility in those areas where there are a security vacuum between both sides,” he added.

The Iraqi military and the Kurdish forces have been working to form two joint brigades to protect the disputed territories from Islamic State (ISIS) attacks.

Kurdish officials have repeatedly warned that ISIS militants are using a “security vacuum” between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces to carry out attacks in the disputed territories.

To fill the gaps, the Iraqi military and Peshmerga forces established four joint operation rooms in Khanaqin, Makhmour, Kirkuk and Mosul to exchange information and launch joint operations against the militants.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December 2017 but the militants have regrouped in the Hamrin mountain range which extends into the northern provinces – an area described by officials as a “triangle of death”.

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