Deadly clashes on Mount Qarachough claim lives of Iraqi soldiers, Peshmerga fighters

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — Two Iraqi soldiers and two fighters from the Kurdish Peshmerga forces were killed on Sunday evening, with others sustaining injuries during clashes on Mount Qarachough, near the Makhmour district, around 50 kilometers southwest of Erbil, as reported by Iraqi officials and the Peshmerga Ministry.

The confrontation unfolded after the withdrawal of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants from three positions in the region. This area falls within disputed territories between Erbil and Baghdad, creating a security vacuum.

Upon their departure, the PKK militants transferred control of these positions to the Iraqi military, without obtaining the consent of the Peshmerga forces. This unapproved transfer of control led to a deadly clash between the two.

In response to these events, the Peshmerga Ministry emphasized its commitment to collaborating with the federal government to find a comprehensive and enduring solution to enhance security and stability across Iraq, according to a statement.

Following the clashes, the Iraqi Prime Minister and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, instructed the establishment of a high-level committee to investigate the incident, confirmed in a statement by the Iraqi military spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul.

Sudani also stressed the importance of self-restraint among leaders and commanders within all forces, whether affiliated with the federal government or the Peshmerga. He underscored the significance of making wise decisions that prioritize shared goals and overall national interests, while avoiding any actions that might provide adversaries of Iraq with opportunities.

The situation has since calmed down, and high-level authorities in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region are actively engaged in efforts to de-escalate the situation.

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