nsnbc : The Security Council of Iraq’s Kurdistan Autonomous Region (KAR) reports that Iraqi troops have launched an attack against the Kurdish Peshmerga troops deployed in northwestern Nineveh.
“Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces are shelling Peshmerga positions from Zummar, North West of Mosul. Now advancing,” KRG’s security council said in a tweet on Thursday. A press release, issued on Thursday by the Kurdistan Regional Security Council (KRSC), said,
“In the last six days, Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed PMF [Popular Mobilization Forces] have deployed heavy weapons in preparations for this major attack. In Zummar, heavy artillery and tacks are positioned in offensive posture towards nearby Peshmerga positions. In Rabia, U.S. equipment, including significant number of Humvees and Armored Personnel Carriers, have arrived to reinforce tanks and artillery deployed in recent days.”
The statement described this as ‘unconstitutional’. The security council urged Baghdad to “withdraw all forces from nearby areas and accept KRG’s offer for unconditional talks to settle political differences.” It also called on U.S. to “apply the pressure necessary to stop Iraq. It must not allow Iranian-backed forces to use American equipment.”
The development comes after Iraqi forces backed by the Iranian-backed, predominantly Shiite PMF a.k.a. Hashd al-Shaabi tightened their control over the Rabia border crossing with Syria after the withdrawal of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) troops there.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) offered earlier on the day to impose a ceasefire and resort to dialogue to defuse the military and political standoff with Baghdad. Moreover, the troops reportedly headed toward Ibrahim al-Khalil border crossing with Turkey seeking control on it.
Iraqi troops, backed by PMFs, took over Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and reached to the southern borders of Erbil, earlier this month, fulfilling instructions made earlier by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to retake areas where sovereignty is disputed with Kurdistan Region’s Government.
CH/L – nsnbc 26.10.2017