Iraqi Army to Deploy Forces to Kirkuk
Such a step requires Barzani’s permission, Peshmerga Commander says

Basnews | Hemin Salih views 05.08.2015 13:50

KIRKUK – The security situation in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, has always been challenging due to its special ethnic mix, the Iraqi army is now planning to deploy troops to the province. Kurdish Peshmerga commanders have made it clear that any security forces need the approval of the General Commander of the Peshmerga forces, Massoud Barzani, to enter the area.

BasNews has learned that the proposed Iraqi forces brigade are made up of the Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), known as Hashid al-Shaabi, who are directly linked to the Iraqi Shi’ite bloc.

Sources have revealed that Iraqi army officials have talked to the Kirkuk governor in order to station the brigade at the Kaiwan military base in the province. They are claiming that the forces are supposed to counter any attack of Islamic State (IS) militants in Hawija on Kirkuk.

The sources claim that the Iraqi army is aiming to take back strategic positions from the Peshmerga and increase their military influence in the area.

Peshmerga Commander Wasta Rasoul told BasNews that the security forces need President Barzani’s permission to enter the city.

Rasoul added, “We have not been officially informed of the reinforcement. The Peshmerga support other forces taking part in fighting IS, but it must operate completely in coordination with the Peshmerga forces.”

Kurdish Member of Iraqi Parliament Shakhawan Abdullah declared that the Iraqi army is unable to establish and arm fresh units.