The Iraqi Prime Minister and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, chaired an expanded security meeting that included the leaders of the federal security services and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, in the presence of the Iraqi Ministers of Interior, Defense, and Finance.
During the meeting, they discussed developments in the security events that Iraq had witnessed during the past hours, and discussed security plans to confront and limit security breaches, and extend security and stability throughout the country, and the meeting also discussed coordination between the various federal security forces and the Peshmerga forces, especially in areas of joint responsibility.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces issued several directives to the security forces, on top of which is activating the intelligence and security effort, as well as activating pre-emptive operations to counter the movements of ISIS terrorist gangs, dry up their sources, and destroy their dens.
Lieutenant General Jabbar Yawar, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Peshmerga, and Lieutenant General Jamal, Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Peshmerga, participated in the meeting.
Lieutenant General Jabbar Yawar said during a statement that the meeting discussed the threats of terrorist breaches that occurred recently due to the presence of several security flaws that resulted in the martyrdom of several Peshmerga forces and the forces of the federal government.
He added that during the meeting, it was decided to strengthen coordination and work between the joint committees and teams of the army and the Peshmerga forces in the joint centers, fill gaps, and exchange intelligence information to prevent the recurrence of terrorist attacks and to strengthen security belts.
Although Iraq declared victory over ISIS in 2017, which had overrun swathes of the country and neighboring Syria three years earlier, sleeper cells holed up in mountains and deserts continue to carry out deadly attacks across the country, often at night in remote areas and with light weapons, especially in the areas disputed between the KRG and the Iraqi Government and the attacks have recently risen.
ISIS militants ambush, kidnap and extort both civilians and members of the security forces in the disputed areas, which stretch across several provinces, including Kirkuk, Nineveh, Diyala, and Salahaddin.
Kurdish leaders have continuously called for more cooperation with the Iraqi governments, especially after ISIS's most recent attack in the disputed Kirkuk that killed several Peshmerga personnel. According to Kurdish officials, the terrorists' sleeper cells exploit the security vacuum that exists in those areas.
According to Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, the disputed areas are defined as being Arabized during the fallen Iraqi Baath Regime rule.