Peshmerga denies cooperation with army over Hawija offensive

Peshmerga forces. File photo.

Kirkuk ( The Kurdish Peshmerga has denied coordination with Iraqi federal troops over date for launching operations to liberate Hawija, Islamic State’s holdout in southwest of Kirkuk.

“Meetings of coordination committees between Peshmerga and the army on Hawija were previously going well,” Maj.Gen Haiwa Abdulla, deputy commander of southern Kirkuk axis, told the official website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. “Army then transferred its troops to Tikrit, Qayyarah and Shirqat, within preparations of Hawija offensive, without notifying the Peshmerga about details.”

However, Abdullah said “Kurdistan’s Peshmerga is ready for any emergency,” adding that “troops are ready for coordination with army over Hawija liberation in case there was an official demand from the command.”

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 last week, 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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