We have not received official order regarding Joint Operations Command: Peshmerga official

Directive already released publicly
The Secretary General of the Ministry of Peshmerga the Lieutenant General Jabbar Yawar (File)

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SULAIMANI – Although the decision was made public on Sunday, Secretary General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs Lieutenant General Jabbar Yawar said on Monday (September 16) that the ministry has not yet received an official order to join the federal Joint Operations Command (JOC).

The decision itself was not unexpected, explained Yawar, since a ministry delegation had requested membership in the JOC during a meeting in Baghdad on July 23.

“It has been known from the media that the Iraqi prime minister has issued a divan order about the mechanism and new tasks of the Joint Operations Command. The membership of Peshmerga forces were referred to in the order,” Yawar said.

“Whenever it is received by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), it will be forwarded to the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs. The mechanism, the authorities, types of command roles, and the Peshmerg’s membership will be discussed by the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs’ defense council.”

Regarding appointment of a Peshmerga representative to sit on the JOC, Yawar said that the Region’s presidency and the Council of Ministers would pick a nominee.

Earlier this summer, a US Department of Defense analysis of Iraq’s security situation identified the lack of cooperation between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi Security Forces as a major reason that Islamic State militants have become resurgent in the country, especially by exploiting a security vacuum in the disputed areas.

Even before the report, the Peshmerga and the federal defense ministry had begun meeting to improve coordination. Five technical working groups were formed to make specific recommendations.

(NRT Digital Media)