Peshmerga fills security vacuum after murder of three men by ISIS

Peshmerga fills security vacuum after murder of three men by ISIS

Soran Mohammad - Kirkuk

Peshmerga Forces will be deployed in the Shékh Bzén areas in Kirkuk province to protect residents from ISIS attacks, according to Major General Mariwan Salaiyee, commander of Brigade 126 Peshmerga Forces.

Major General Mariwan Salaiyee told KirkukNow that yesterday (29 October 2020) their units have started moving towards the villages of that area to be stationed where a security vacuum exists.

The deployment of the Peshmerga is due to the frequent attacks by ISIS militants. The most recent was the killing of three men which ISIS claimed responsibility for.

The three men, two brothers and their cousin were killed while they were travelling in a car from their village Shawgér to another village (Tukli) in the area on 17 October. Their car was then set on fire with their bodies still inside it.

burial of the three murdered men

Salaiyee said: “We will not allow for the people of those villages to be driven out of their home and be displaced.”

“In a sweeping campaign, numerous hideouts and traces of ISIS militants were discovered. According to our intelligence, six militants are in the area who let themselves be seen by people to prove their presence. They hide in daytime and appear during the night.”

Peshmerga Forces conducted a sweeping operation on 25 October.

Major General Hiwa Abdulla, commander of Peshmerga Forces in Kirkuk region told KirkukNow and other media: “There is a wide security vacuum at several areas around Kirkuk between Peshmerga and Iraqi forces; among them Shékh Bzéni area.”

He said lack of cooperation between the two sides has made that attack possible.

He asked for a joint operation room to be set up in the area in order to exchange information about the activities of ISIS militants.

The Iraqi Defence Ministry and Kurdistan Regional Government Peshmerga Ministry have been in talks about establishing a number of joint coordination centres for several months. But they haven’t agreed on the details yet.

According to the Iraqi Constitution, the disputed areas can be jointly controlled by forces from the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

In 2014 withdrew from most of the disputed areas when ISIS attacked and Peshmerga Forces filled the gap until October 2017, when Federal Government forces, the army and the paramilitary force PMU (a coalition of mostly Shi’a militia) expelled the Peshmerga after KRG held a referendum on independence.

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