ERBIL — Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) has warned of Iraqi army’s intention for a “major” military offensive against Kurdistan around Kirkuk and Mosul.
“We are receiving dangerous messages [that] the Iraqi forces, including PMU [the Shi’ite militias of Hashd al-Shaabi] and Federal Police forces are preparing a major attack,” the KRSC posted on its official Twitter account.
It also revealed that military offensives will possibly target the Kurdish forces in southwest Kirkuk and north of Mosul.
Since the independence referendum last month across Kurdistan Region and entire Kurdish disputed areas, Baghdad has taken various measures to isolate the Kurds. The government-backed Shi’ite Arab militia groups of Hashd al-Shaabi previously several times threatened that they will attack the Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk if they refuse to withdraw.
Following the collapse of the Iraqi army at the wake of the Islamic State (IS) attacks back in 2014 when Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, fell into the hands of the jihadists, Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga troops have been protecting Kirkuk and other territories populated by Kurds, but previously ruled by Baghdad.
The Peshmerga leadership has made it clear that they will not withdraw from their current positions as they have shed blood to protect these areas while the Iraqi army fled when IS attacked.