Presence of US forces in Iraq is great support for Peshmerga, ISF: secretary general

Secretary General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs Jabar Yawar (File)

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SULAIMANI — Reflecting on the recent Iraq-US Strategic Dialogue talks, Secretary General of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs Jabar Yawar argued on Wednesday (July 28) that the presence of US forces in Iraq is important for the Peshmerga and the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

"The agreement between Iraq and US is only related to the US forces in Iraq, which will change their duties from the task of fighting to the task of advising, training, and supporting Iraqi forces with logistics, air support, and intelligence,” Yawar said during an interview with Voice of America (VOA) about the US decision to shift fully away from a combat role.

"Both the Iraqi Security Forces and the Peshmerga need continuous training by the experts in the American and Coalition forces,” he said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government supports the continued presence of foreign troops in Iraq in an advisory role as part of the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group, but is under pressure from Iran-back militias and politicians to end that role soon.

Yawar added that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) would abide by the foreign policy decisions made by Iraq’s federal government, since it is not a sovereign entity that can make its own military or security agreements with foreign countries.

Nevertheless, many in the KRG view those militias as a destabilizing influence in Iraq and a threat to the Kurdistan Region.

(NRT Digital Media)