Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Baghdad and Erbil Agree On Security Cooperation In Disputed Areas

Most of the violence in Iraq takes place in just two places, southern Kirkuk and northeast Diyala. These are the disputed territories of the Khanaqin and Hawija districts. In some of these areas there is a large empty space between the Kurds and federal forces which is being exploited by the Islamic State. Recently Baghdad and Irbil entered into talks to help close those gaps.

 

The negotiations between the central and regional governments were initiated by the United States. That effort started in June. By the next month an initial agreement was made between Baghdad and Irbil. The two agreed to set up three joint operations rooms to deal with the disputed areas across Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salahaddin. Even before the deal had been formalized there was already some collaboration. The Kurdish counter terrorism force cooperated with the Iraqi forces in the fourth stage of the Heroes of Iraq operation in Diyala, along a road in the Tuz Kharmato district in eastern Salahaddin, and intelligence sharing has begun as well.

 

This is a very important development. The Islamic State has near de facto control of many of the rural areas of Khanaqin and Hawija. They have driven people out with hundreds of empty villages in Diyala and now are in a war of attrition against the security forces. The empty zones between the federal and regional forces have to be closed to deny the insurgency freedom of movement within them. That would be a decided strike against IS which is trying its third reconstitution in Iraq.

 

SOURCES

 

AIN, “Intelligence cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil to control the security of the disputed areas,” 8/9/20

 

Dri, Karwan Faidhi, “Iraqi, Kurdish forces launch joint attacks against ISIS on Iranian border,” Rudaw, 7/11/20

 

Ghafuri, Lawk, “Security gap in some of Iraq’s disputed territories reaches up to 13 square kilometers in size: Iraqi military official,” Rudaw, 7/10/20

- “Security talks resume between Peshmerga and Iraqi army in Erbil,” Rudaw, 7/20/20

- “Talks resume on resolving security in disputed territories,” Rudaw, 6/23/20

 

NINA, “Major General Al-Khafaji: Joint Operations With Peshmerga Soon And Next Meeting To Implement The Understandings,” 8/9/20

 

Rudaw, “Peshmerga and Iraqi forces coordinate for security in disputed part of Salahaddin,” 8/3/20

 

Shafaaq news, “Coordination between the army and the Peshmerga to besiege ISIS in Khanaqin,” 8/6/20

 

Wali, Zhelwan, “Baghdad and Erbil reach ‘joint military work’ agreement amid ISIS surge,” Rudaw, 7/2/20

 

4 comments:

gj/bb said...

Seems to me with this new prime minister Iraq has turned a corner for the better?
What say you Joel?

Joel Wing said...

Pro-Iran groups are firing rockets and setting IEDs almost every day. There's been a wave of assassinations of activists. The economy is in its biggest crisis since 03 and the elite are just going about their business. So no, I don't think a security agreement with the Kurds shows things are changing for the better.

gj/bb said...

Sorry.... I was misled by your first sentence - "Most of the violence in Iraq takes place in just two places, southern Kirkuk and northeast Diyala. "

So finally having a security agreement with the Kurds is not an advance?

Joel Wing said...

Again,

Biggest economic crisis since 03 and govt and elite are doing nothing.

Pro-Iran groups are setting off rockets/IEDs almost every day.

Protests have re-started and pro-Iran groups are assassinating and intimidating activists.

To think that this security agreement, while a good thing, is a sign of real progress given the bigger issues going on in Iraq is cherry picking.

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