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Peshmerga says federal, paramilitary troops rally, south of Sulaimaniya

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On Monday, the Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry Halgurd Hikmat said that the recent al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) deployment in Cremian region, between Jalawla and Calar town, is a dangerous step that doesn’t help de-escalation and that is considered a rupture of the truce between Iraqi and Peshmerga troops. He also declared that “deploying the Iraqi army and PMFs at the time, when the truce is still ongoing is dangerous and does not serve efforts of de-escalation”, adding that Iraqi troops have to stop the deployment and avoid escalation in order to stick to the truce. Earlier in November, Karim al-Nuri, a senior PMFs leader said that al-Hashd al-Shaabi has no intentions of attacking Erbil or deploying outside the borders of the federal government. Iraqi government forces approached the southern borders of Erbil, capital of semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, shortly after engaging in clashes with the region’s forces in Qushtapa and Altun Kupri in northern Kirkuk in October. Baghdad had declared intentions to retake areas disputed on with Erbil following the Kurdistan Region’s vote for independence from Iraq in September, urging Peshmerga to cooperate with federal troops.

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