The Kurdistan Region in Iraq offered to work with Baghdad to carry out a joint deployment of Kurdish and Iraqi forces to a strategic border crossing with Turkey.
Observers from the United States-led coalition against Daesh (IS), or Operation Inherent Resolve, were invited to participate.
The offer was extended “as a goodwill gesture and trust-building exercise that ensures a limited and temporary arrangement until an agreement is reached in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution”, read a statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s department of defence.
A halt in Iraqi advances has been in effect since Friday on orders from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Iraqi forces began an offensive against disputed Kurdish-controlled territories such as the city of Kirkuk and its surrounding oil fields.
Baghdad has also made attempts to take over international border crossings and in the past demanded international airports be handed over.
The advances came after Kurdish President Mosoud Barzani held an independence referendum for the semi-autonomous region on Sept 25, a vote the Iraqi government considers illegal.
The US-led coalition has worked closely with both the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi special forces in pushing so-called Islamic State out of Iraq.
When Daesh captured swathes of land across northern Syria and northwestern Iraq in 2014, many of the US-trained and equipped Iraqi forces fled their positions.
The Kurdish Peshmerga protected key infrastructure and launched the first pushes against Daesh.
A long campaign that started in October of 2016 for the capture of Mosul from the militants ended this past summer with government forces taking control once again.
More details to follow. Image 1 of Kurdish military from The Michigan Review.
Categories: World Politics