KIRKUK — A Peshmerga commander says that Baghdad has the intention to destabilize the situation of Kirkuk Province and the Iraqi army is intending to go ahead with the Hawija operation without Peshmerga.
Hussein Yazdanpana, commander of the Peshmerga forces in southern Kirkuk front, told BasNews “Baghdad is intending to liberate Hawija without the Peshmerga forces, in a bid against the independence referendum in Kirkuk.”
He noted that the Peshmerga forces are prepared for countering any plans against Kurdistan Region. He explained that the Iraqi forces intend to move onto Hawija from the fronts held by Peshmerga in southern and western Kirkuk, but Peshmerga has not allowed the plan.
“We will not allow the Iraqi army or Hashd al-Shaabi to move onto Hawija from the southern Kirkuk fronts,” said the Peshmerga commander, adding that Baghdad is intending to deploy the Hashd al-Shaabi forces in Kirkuk and violate the agreements as they have done it in Sinjar where the Shi’ite militias have been stationed.
"The federal government has not discussed the plan to liberate Hawija with Peshmerga so far," Jabar Yawar, Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga Ministry, told Al Ghad Press on Sunday.
However, Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi said on Wednesday that the restoration of Hawija requires coordination with the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region.