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Peshmerga, Coalition discuss Islamic State movements in Kirkuk, Nineveh

This article originally appeared in Kurdistan 24.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga and the US-led Coalition against the Islamic State (IS) met in Erbil on Monday to discuss security coordination and collaboration between both sides.

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) acting Minister of Peshmerga Affairs, Karim Shingali, presided over the meeting between the Peshmerga commanders and representatives of some of the US-led Coalition members in the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, the meeting highlighted the increasing movements of IS extremists in Kirkuk and Nineveh provinces.

“The meeting reiterated on cooperation and collaboration between the Coalition and the Peshmerga forces to prevent terrorist activities by IS terrorists in both governorates,” it said.

The global coalition will continue the training program for the Peshmerga forces to enable them further to confront terror, the statement concluded.

Over the past months, senior Coalition officials have seemed to signal that they are adopting a new approach to ensuring the defeat of IS and they recognize that it cannot be done without the active engagement of the Peshmerga.

Despite Iraq declaring “final victory” over IS last December, the group continues to launch insurgency-style attacks, kidnappings, and ambushes in the disputed provinces of Kirkuk, Diyala, and Salahuddin.

Concerns over insecurity and IS activities in Kirkuk and Diyala provinces have grown over the past few months as the extremist group continues to carry out small-scale attacks and threaten people in the area.

Iraqi forces and Shia militias drove the Kurdish Peshmerga forces out of Kirkuk last year following the Oct. 16 attack and military takeover. Since then, the area has seen an uptick in attacks by militants and sleeper-cells.

This article was originally published in Kurdistan 24.

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