November 1, 2017
The KRG Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs condemns in the strongest terms the baseless statementissued by Iraq’s Joint Operations Command. It demonstrates Iraq is not interested in allowing the technical negotiation team between Erbil and Baghdad to reach an agreement.
Senior Peshmerga officials presented the following proposal to the Iraqi Federal Government on 31 October:
- Ceasefire in all fronts
- Continued cooperation and joint security and military mechanisms between Peshmerga Forces and the Iraqi Army for the ongoing war against ISIS
- Deploy joint forces in all disputed territories until the relevant Constitutional Articles are implemented
- Begin political negotiations and form committees, including administrative, legal and military, under the auspices of the US-led Global Coalition and in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution
- Deploy combined force of Peshmerga, Iraqi Army and representatives of the US-led Global Coalition in Fishkhabour — as a good-will gesture and trust-building exercise, that ensures a limited and temporary arrangement until an agreement is reached in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution
The Ministry continues to welcome a permanent ceasefire in all fronts; de-confliction of all forces and the start of political dialogue in good faith based on the Iraqi Constitution to address all outstanding issues. It reiterates that political dialogue — not threats and baseless accusations, remains the only path to a settlement.
The Ministry has emphasized in clear terms the need of continued, unconditional dialogue to reach a settlement. Baghdad has responded with reckless deadlines and threatens war.
Iraq’s statement instead reflects the ongoing military aggression and unconstitutional demands, threatening the people of Kurdistan Region. Their claims against Peshmerga Forces are patently false. The Iraqi Army and Popular Mobilization Units are armed with heavy weapons, including many American, in a clear violation of the Iraqi Constitution which makes clear armed forces should not be used to settle internal disputes.
Peshmerga forces are in defensive positions protecting the dignity of millions of people in the Kurdistan Region. Their heroism is on par with the peoples of Tuz Khormatu, Daquq, Kirkuk and other disputed territories defending their way of life. Peshmerga forces will continue to defend the lives and constitutional and just interests of the people of Kurdistan Region.