Kurdish security chief meets Iraqi Prime Minister, discuss joint effort against ISIS

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The chief of the Kurdistan Region's Security Council (KRSC), Masrour Barzani. File photo

ARA News

The chief of the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council (KRSC), Masrour Barzani, on Sunday met with the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss the joint fight against ISIS.

“Today I met Iraqi PM Haider Al Abadi in Baghdad to discuss the anti-ISIL [ISIS] campaign and cooperation between Peshmerga and the Iraqi Army,” he said.

“We reviewed joint efforts to achieve lasting peace and stability. We also discussed our bilateral ties and measures to increase cooperation. Trust between both forces led to significant military victories in Mosul and remains necessary still to clear remaining ISIL pockets,” Barzani said.

According to the Kurdish security chief, the Iraqi PM recognized Peshmerga sacrifices.

“We agreed on the need to address root causes of the conflict to deny space to extremists,” he said.

“On Erbil-Baghdad issues, we reiterated need for an honest dialogue to address broader differences through peaceful means and a mechanism that respects the aspirations of Iraq’s communities and guarantees a prosperous future underpinned by trust and stability for all groups,” he added.

The two leaders reportedly also discussed the recent operations of the Shia Paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) that entered south Sinjar, and captured several Yezidi villages last month.

Last week, the General Command of the Peshmerga forces warned the PMU of violating an agreement between Baghdad and Erbil.

“However, if some people in the Hashd al-Shaabi [PMU] and some mercenary Kurds dream to take advantage of the war against ISIS in the area and try to create problems for the people of the area and the Peshmerga and transgress against the land of Kurdistan, we warn these dissonant voices that no force can or has the right to enter Kurdistan territory,” the command said.

The PMU have denied the statements of the Iraqi Kurds, and said the recent operation to clear out the border was on the orders of the Iraqi government.

Ahmed al-Asadi, a spokesman for the PMU, in March rejected reports by Kurdish media that there is no coordination between the PMU and Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.

“The coordination between PMU and Peshmerga has been taking place for a long time and we both worked together in more than one area, including Jalawla and al-Sa’dia,” he said.

The official spokesperson of the Shia paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Karim Nouri, has denied reports about tensions between the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the PMU.

In mid May, the PMU forces launched an operation towards the Syrian border in southern Sinjar, in northwestern Iraq. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) reportedly said that this operation was not in coordination with the Peshmerga forces.

In an exclusive interview with ARA News, PMU spokesperson Karim Nouri said there is no need for coordination with the KRG in the Iraqi-Syrian border.

“This is the operation to take Qayrawan near the Syrian border [from ISIS] . If we get to the Sinjar area, there will be coordination [with the KRG], but in Qayrawan and in Ba’aj this doesn’t need coordination.”

“The Peshmerga and the Hasdh (PMU) are on the same road to fight ISIS. There is no difference nor any problem, because we are combatting the same enemy [ISIS],” he said.

Furthermore, the PMU spokesman denied there was any plan for an Iranian corridor towards Syria.

“Iran is very far from Iraq, and this statement is not right. This is just propaganda to blacken the Mosul operation. This is a wrong statement, and an interference in Iraqi internal affairs,” he told ARA News.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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