On Oct. 26 at 0600hrs Erbil time Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) began an unprovoked, four-pronged assault on Peshmerga positions in north-west Mosul; Bardiya and Hamad Agha towards Ain Ouais, Mosharaf towards Sufaya, and from Rabia towards Mahmoudiya.
The following Iranian-backed PMF played a role in the attacks: Kataib Imam Ali, Harakat Al-Najba, Tofuf Brigade, Hussein Brigade, Badr Corp, Al-Abbas Brigade, Kataib Jund Al-Imam, and Raad Al-Saree Division, all under command of Hadi Ameri and Abu Mahdi Mohandes.
Frontline reporting confirms Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed PMF continue to use U.S. weapons given to Iraq for the anti-ISIL campaign, including Humvees, Armored Personnel Carriers and Badger infantry vehicles. This is a blatant violation of the Iraqi Constitution which forbids the use of the army to settle political disputes. We condemn Iraq’s military aggression in the strongest terms.
As of 1200hrs Erbil time, the Peshmerga had heroically repelled the attacks, destroying three tanks, five Humvees and one Badger infantry vehicle. Having retreated from the areas, Iraqi forces have resorted to shelling Peshmerga positions. Peshmerga forces will defend their positions against Iraq’s wanton aggression and will continue to protect the region and its peoples.
These attacks must stop immediately; Iraq must withdraw all forces and return to negotiations to address political differences. The international community must denounce Iraq’s reckless behavior in the last two weeks. It has destabilized some of the country’s safest areas, displaced over 150,000 individuals and created dangerous security vacuums.
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