On September 10, Lieutenant General Jabar Yawar Chief of Staff of Kurdish Peshmerga forces denied that there is any disagreement with the Iraqi government over the upcoming anti-ISIS operation in al-Hawija.
However, Lieut. Gen. Yawar confirmed that the Iraqi government and Peshmerga are not coordinating al-Hawija operation.
“The federal government has not discussed the plan to liberate Hawija with Peshmerga so far… the Ministry [the Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry] held many meetings with the federal government before the Mosul operation. However, since than no meetings have been held between the two sides regarding the joint operations in the areas, especially al-Hawija,” Lieut. Gen. Yawar said, according to the UK based al-Hayat newspaper.
According to Lieut. Gen. Yawar, the Iraqi Army discussed its plans for al-Hawija with the US-led coalition, Iraqi security forces and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), but not with Peshmerga.
Earlier on the same day, Major General Haiwa Abdulla, Peshmerga Deputy Commander of southern Kirkuk claimed that the Iraqi Army had withdrawn from coordination meetings related to al-Hawija operation.
“Meetings of coordination committees between Peshmerga and the army on Hawija were previously going well … Army then transferred its troops to Tikrit, Qayyarah and Shirqat, within preparations of Hawija offensive, without notifying the Peshmerga about details.” Maj. Gen. Haiwa Abdulla said to the official website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
It’s likely that the Kurdistan Region government is not very interested in participating in the al-Hawija operation for many reasons. One of them could be that the Kurdistan Region government is now deeply involved in preparations for the upcoming independence referendum that is set for September 25.