ERBIL — Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Thursday received Deputy Commanding General of the Global Coalition to combat Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, Richard Bell, with the premier stressing on the importance of the security cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad.
"Pleased to meet with Brigadier Richard Bell, Deputy Commanding General of the Combined Joint Task Force in Iraq and Syria," PM Barzani said in a statement published on his official Facebook page.
Barzani further explained that the pair "discussed the latest developments in the region and the ongoing efforts to confront terrorism."
"I thanked the coalition's continued support and stressed the importance of security cooperation between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi army to confront terrorism."
Discussing Wednesday's bombings by the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), which killed two Peshmerga soldiers in Naqaba valley of Akre, Duhok province, Bell expressed his sympathy for the two Kurdish fighters and reiterated the support of the US-led Coalition to the Kurdistan Region, as well as the Peshmerga, in confronting terrorism.
PM Barzani's remarks come as the Islamic State has intensified its terrorist activities in the territories disputed between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq where a security vacuum is seen.
The Kurdistan Region's Ministry of Peshmerga and the Iraqi Defense Ministry have recently reached a final agreement to form two joint brigades in the disputed areas in efforts to secure the region and prevent the jihadist group from harming the security forces and civilians.