Secretary-General: Security gap between Kurdish, Iraqi forces persists


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SULAIMANI — The Secretary-General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, Jabar Yawar, said on Sunday (January 23) the security gap between Iraqi and Kurdish forces still exists, despite "continuous cooperation.”

Yawar said in an interview with Voice of America the gap has persisted even after joint operations between the two forces.

The secretary-general said there were plans to form two joint brigades from members of Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army but the final steps to implement this have not been completed.

Yawar stated the Islamic State (ISIS) has changed its methods of operation and is now carrying out its activities in small armed groups.

He clarified ISIS has not been wiped out but instead persists in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan, and that it still disseminates its violent ideology through social media.

"ISIS is still a threat in the area and two days ago it attacked an Iraqi army base and killed eleven members, and attack the Ghweiran prison [in Syria] where the fighting is still ongoing,” Yawar said.

Speaking on the number of ISIS militants, he said, "No one can state the current number of ISIS members because they rely on sleeper cells and tiny groups and the camps hosting ISIS families at the Iraq-Syria and Jordan-Syria borders.”

"They do not settle in any area but instead continue to roam to find a weak spot in the Iraqi army, the Peshmerga, the Syiran [army] or others to attack them with snipers, ambushes or suicide bombings,” he added.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani met with Peshmerga Minister Shorsh Ismail and Minister of Interior Rebar Ahmed on Sunday for talks on the threat of recent ISIS activity, where they discussed the importance of strengthening lines of defense and the necessity of continuous contact between security in the Kurdistan Region, the Iraqi Federal Government and the coalition.

(NRT Digital Media)