Pentagon: Clashes between IMIS, Peshmerga in Mosul 'imminent'

The Pentagon on Tuesday warned IMIS militias fighting alongside Iraqi forces to liberate the ISIS-held city of Mosul to fall in line behind commanders in Baghdad, amid rising sectarian tensions between Iranian-backed Shia militias and Kurdish peshmerga in the war-torn country, according to the Washington Times.

“Everyone needs to follow [Baghdad‘s] lead and fall in behind them,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said, regarding rising tensions between Shia paramilitaries known as Iranian Militias in Iraq and Syria (IMIS), and Peshmerga.

Capt. Davis acknowledged the challenges facing Iraqi and coalition commanders in managing such a diverse fighting force. But he reiterated the chain of command in the fight against the group known as ISIS in Iraq runs through Baghdad, and all participants in that fight needed to respect that fact, he said during Tuesday’s briefing at the Pentagon.

His comments come as tensions have come to a head in the Yazidi enclave of Sinjar in northern Iraq’s Nineveh province this month, as IMIS miitias continue to clear ISIS-held territory in and around the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, roughly 50 miles east of the terror group’s besieged Iraqi capital of Mosul.