Sulaimaniya (IraqiNews.com) The Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry has said that the Iraqi federal and paramilitary troops are rallying in south of Sulaimaniya, describing the step as dangerous one that does not helping de-escalation.
In press remarks on Monday, Halgurd Hikmat said, “the recent deployment by al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) in Cremian region, between Jalawla and Calar towns, is considered breaching to the truce between Iraqi and Peshmerga troops.”
Moreover, he said that “deploying the Iraqi army and PMFs at the time, when the truce is still ongoing is dangerous and does not serve efforts of de-escalation.”
Hikamt also urged Iraqi troops to stop the deployment and stick to the truce to avoid escalation.
Peshmerga announced on Wednesday receiving U.S. assurances of continued military assistance, with USD 364 million in financial aid for 2018. This came during a meeting between Acting Peshmerga Minister, Karim Sinjari, in Kurdistan Region’s capital, Erbil, and Becker, commander of Iraq security cooperation at the U.S. Central Command.
Earlier in November, Karim al-Nuri, a senior PMFs leader said, “al-Hashd al-Shaabi has no intentions for attacks against Erbil or deployment outside the borders of the federal government.
Iraqi government forces approached the southern borders of Erbil, capital of semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, shortly after engaging in clashes with the region’s forces in Qushtapa and Altun Kupri in northern Kirkuk in October.
Baghdad had declared intentions to retake areas disputed on with Erbil following the Kurdistan Region’s vote for independence from Iraq in September, urging Peshmerga to cooperate with federal troops.