Iraqis Reiterate Peshmerga Must Withdraw From Liberated Areas

Iraqis Reiterate Peshmerga Must Withdraw From Liberated Areas

Iraq’s government is once again insisting that Kurdish forces withdraw from areas regained from Islamic State (ISIS) forces as the push towards Mosul intensifies.

Saad Hadisi, spokesman for the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office, said Friday (August 19) that officials in Baghdad reject claims by a number of Kurdish political and military officials that areas should go under Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) administration.

Senior KRG and Peshmerga officials have made repeated statements that Kurdish forces will not withdraw from territory regained from ISIS militants in northern Iraq.

Speaking to Middle East Eye, Peshmerga General Hama Rashid Rostam and senior Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) member Arif Tayfur said the KRG will not return liberated areas to Iraqi government.

Iraq’s Ministry of Defense said on July 22 that a precondition of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Kurdistan Region and the U.S. carried a stipulation that Kurdish forces would withdraw from any areas currently under ISIS control after the successful defeat of the militants.

Following the Iraqi ministry’s release, the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs issued a statement saying Kurdish forces would not withdraw from areas taken from ISIS.