Today Marks the 4th Anniversary of Sahela Battle of Peshmerga against Iran-Backed Militias
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Today Marks the 4th Anniversary of Sahela Battle of Peshmerga against Iran-Backed Militias

ERBIL — Four years ago on October 26, Kurdistan Region Peshmerga Forces scored another victory after repelling a large-scale offensive by the Iran-backed Shia militias and the Iraqi Army in Sahela, western bank of Tigris River.

The attack was part of a larger military operation by the Iraqi forces to take control of all the territories of the Kurdistan Region, and as a result, weaken or destroy the constitutional entity of the autonomous region of Kurdistan.

During fierce confrontations that day, several Peshmerga fighters were killed, but there was no intention to retreat from their positions despite the Shia militias using the modern weaponry originally supplied by the US to help the Iraqi Army in its war against the Islamic State (IS).

Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, who was the President of the Kurdistan Region and the commander in chief of the Kurdistan armed forces back then, wrote in his latest book that the Iraqi operation intended to take control of Pishabour area, where a strategic border crossing connects the Kurdistan Region with the Syrian Kurdistan.

“On October 26, the Kurdish forces fought fiercely against the Iraqi and Hashd al- Shaabi troops that were backed by the Iranian military and the Lebanese Hezbollah in Sehela and Mahmoudiya. The fight, which was aimed at controlling the Peshmerga borders, resulted in wounding of
an Iranian military officer called Sayid Mukhtar, who also was the commander of the Iraqi troops,” Barzani wrote in his book “Staking Our Claim”.

“Amid the defeat of the Iraqi forces, Abadi still refused to directly hold talks with Kurds and proposed talks among the military commanders of the Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga. He went into negotiations with representatives from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps known as Pasdaran, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah to discuss regional politics. This was the ultimate insult from Prime Minister Abadi to the sovereignty of Iraq allowing outside forces to dictate the terms of the negotiations with the Kurds, at which point I decided not to continue the negotiations.” he added.

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