ERBIL — Commanders of Peshmerga responded to Baghdad’s statement regarding the disputed territories, stating that the Peshmerga forces won’t retreat from Kurdistan’s territories.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi convened the Iraqi National Security Council on Monday, during which he announced additional measures to be taken against Kurdistan. One of the measures was restoring the federal authority in the disputed territories retaken from Islamic State (IS) by the Peshmerga forces.
Abdullah Bor, Commander of Peshmerga forces in Tuz Khurmatu, told BasNews that Peshmerga won’t abide by Baghdad’s decisions, emphasizing that Peshmerga will not withdraw from the Kurdish territories.
He warned against any attempts by the Iraqi forces to push back Peshmerga from those areas.
The Peshmerga commander deemed the Iraqi National Security Council’s decision as "declaration of war" against Kurdistan’s people.
Hussein Yazdanpana, the Commander of the Peshmerga forces on south-western Kirkuk front, also stated that the Peshmerga takes orders from Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, not from the Iraqi government, reiterating that they will not withdraw from the areas under their control.
Meanwhile, Jamal Murtka, Peshmerga Commander of Gwer Front, told BasNews that Peshmerga will not give up on their land for which they have sacrificed the lives of two thousand Peshmerga soldiers.
Following the collapse of the Iraqi army in the wake of IS attacks back in 2014, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces swiftly swapped them to protect the civilians. They later advanced against the jihadists elsewhere on the areas claimed by the Kurds.
Since then, the Iraqi central government has been attempting to push Peshmerga back and retake the control of these areas, but Erbil says the Peshmerga forces have shed blood to retake these areas and will not step back.