Peshmerga: truce with Baghdad fragile, troops remain on alert

Peshmerga forces. File photo.

Kirkuk  ( The ceasefire truce agreed between Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga troops remains prone to collapsing, a senior Peshmerga commander was quoted saying on Thursday.

Sirwan Barzani, a commander of the Makhmur zone in Peshmerga, told London-based Alhayat that “ceasefire truce between Baghdad and Erbil remains fragile, and Peshmerga remain on alert”.

Explaining his statement, Barzani said “there are no guarantees from Baghdad or the Popular Mobilization Forces (for sustaining the truce)”.

Makhmur, which falls to the west of Erbil, Kurdistan Region’s capital, is a home to an Arab majority and a Kurdish minority. It was the stage of a military standoff between the two sides last October.

Iraqi forces took over Makhmur and other regions disputed with Kurdistan in October in response to a referendum the autonomous region held in September when a majority of citizens voted for independence from Iraq, a step which Baghdad deemed unconstitutional.

Both governments have recently exchanged official visits in order to resolve the crisis that resulted from the referendum, with reports suggesting an approach towards a resolution. Erbil hopes to lift penalties imposed by Baghdad over the referendum, including an embargo on the region’s airports and border crossings.

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