Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Thursday, September 22, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

U.S. working with Kurdish forces in N. Iraq
to secure region from external threats

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military is coordinating regional security with Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.


Officials said U.S. advisers were working to enhance security in Kurdish-controlled and -dominated areas in Iraq. They said a key goal was to prevent confrontations between forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government and Baghdad as well as infiltration from neighboring Iran.

"Their main focus is securing Iraq from external enemies," U.S. Army adviser Maj. Colin Williams said.

Also In This Edition

On Aug. 24, Williams and other advisers from the U.S. Army's 1st Division met Kurdish security forces to plan ways to protect the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk, Middle East Newsline reported. Kirkuk has been seething with tension between Kurds and Sunni Muslims, the latter supported by the Baghdad government.

Officials said the U.S. military has been helping the 1st Kurdish Regional Guard Brigade conduct security operations in Kirkuk while avoiding confrontations with Iraqi Sunnis and ethnic Turks. They said the coordination was important amid plans for most of the U.S. advisory team to leave the region over the next few months.

"We talked about a number of issues around the security checkpoints and how important it is for the 1st RGB to assume more responsibility," said Williams, the primary adviser to Kurdish Brig. Gen. Shirko Fatih Shwani, commander of the 1st RGB.

The U.S. military has helped in the establishment of eight Kurdish brigades, responsible to KRG. The 1st Brigade is the only one in Kirkuk and regarded as the best-equipped and -manned unit.

"There are internal enemies, which the RGB faces and addresses, but for their focus the real threat is external forces," Williams said.

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.