Erbil (IraqiNews.com) The Peshmerga troops have denied conflicts with the federal government in Baghdad over liberation of Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk, a Kurdish official said, expressing astonishment for not involving the troops in the liberation plans.
Lt.Gen.Jabbar Yawar, secretary general of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Peshmerga Ministry, denied news circulated in media over military tension between Peshmerga and the federal government over Hawija, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported. However, he said, “the government did not tackle the Hawija offensive with Peshmerga.”
The ministry, according to Yawar, “held several meetings with the government ahead of Mosul liberation, however, no meetings over military operations in common regions, especially Hawija, have been held since then.”
“Baghdad tackled Hawija offensive with the international coalition, al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) and its joint security troops” Yawar said. “The government has its plan on Hawija. No meetings were held with Peshmerga in this regard.”
Kurdistan previously declared intentions to include Hawija within the referendum, slated for September 25.
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.