Baghdad cannot start Hawija offensive without Peshmerga: Kurdish official

Peshmerga soldiers.

Erbil ( A prominent Kurdish official has said Baghdad cannot start the offensives to liberate Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk, without coordination with Peshmerga.

“The central government in Baghdad will not be able to start the Hawija offensive without coordination with Peshmerga,” Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Peshmerga Ministry, Maj.Gen. Qaraman Sheikh Kamal. “The Iraqi army is high need for coordination with Peshmerga on Hawija liberation.”

“The coming period of time will seen several meetings between Peshmerga, the U.S.-led Coalition and the central government over Hawija offensive,” Kamal said, adding that Peshmerga “will have pivotal role in Hawija operations.”

On Monday, Lt.Gen.Jabbar Yawar, secretary general of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Peshmerga Ministry, denied conflicts with the federal government in Baghdad over liberation of Hawija, however, he said, Baghdad tackled the offensive with the international coalition, PMFs and its joint security troops, excluding Peshmerga.

Hawija and other neighboring regions, west of Kirkuk, have been held by IS since mid-2014, when the group emerged to proclaim an Islamic “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. The group executed dozens of civilians and security members there, forcing thousands to flee homes.

Further reinforcements from the Federal Police were sent earlier this month from Baghdad to the town, as the military command declared, late August, the end of operations in Tal Afar, the militants’ last haven west of Nineveh, and the approach of the launch of offensives for Hawija.

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