What does Iraq’s deployment of its forces on the borders with Turkey and Iran mean?

In the face of the security threats posed by the Turkish and Iranian attacks on Iraqi Kurdistan, Baghdad decided to deploy forces on the borders of neighboring Turkey and Iran.

For some time, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has been launching missile strikes on what it claims are sites belonging to the Iranian Kurdish opposition, while Turkey has renewed its military operation against what it says are sites of the PKK and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in northern Iraq and Syria.

The spokesman for the Commander of the Iraqi Armed Forces, Major General Yahya Rasul Al-Zubaidi, told Al-Hurra that the forces that will be deployed on the borders with neighboring countries aim to “hold the zero line separating Iraq, Turkey and Iran through redeployment and reinforcement with border posts.”

He explains that these forces “will control the borders, prevent any infiltration operations, and secure the Iraqi border areas.”

“calm down”

Al-Zubaidi stressed that the Iraqi military decision will push for “calm” with neighboring Iran and Turkey, especially in light of “the existence of good and great diplomatic relations and efforts with these two countries to prevent attacks on Iraqi territory.”

He added, “I do not think” that this decision will mean “confrontations with Iran and Turkey,” especially since the Iraqi forces will make efforts “to control the borders and protect Iraqi lands, and prevent any elements from using Iraqi lands to attack any of the neighboring countries.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanaani, had said in statements that his country hopes “not to use Iraqi lands to threaten Iran’s security.”

The political researcher, Saman Noah, believes that the redeployment of forces on the border represents a “preliminary step for calm with Iran,” noting that this matter “was a demand from Tehran that it requested from Baghdad.”

He added, in an interview with Al-Hurra, that this matter will also support the truce with the Turkish side during the current time, but it will not constitute “a continuation of the Turkish situation, especially since Ankara believes that the Iraqi forces must fight the PKK on Iraqi soil.”

Saman explains that the reason he described this step as “initial” is because stopping Iranian missile attacks is not related to preventing “infiltrators and smuggling weapons from Iranian Kurdish opponents who are present, according to Iranian allegations,” but is related to stopping demonstrations inside Iran.

Tehran accuses these groups of launching attacks on its territory by infiltrating from Iraq, and also of fueling the protests taking place in Iran since the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, on September 16.

Saman believes that “Iran wants to export its internal crises abroad, and for this reason it invokes the existence of a role for the Iranian Kurdish opposition present on Iraqi soil, although in reality this opposition is not armed and does not carry out any military operations, and it has been present in these areas for three decades and its presence has not constituted any crises before.

The presence of the Kurdish opposition in Iraq dates back to the eighties of the last century, and was often supported by the Saddam Hussein regime in the midst of its war with the Iranian neighbor, while information indicates that the reason behind their refuge in Iraq is the close ties that unite the Kurds of the two neighboring countries, especially since both speak the Sorani Kurdish dialect, According to a previous report by Agence France-Presse.

On Thursday, Iran justified its bombing of Iranian Kurdish opposition groups in Iraqi Kurdistan in a letter to the UN Security Council that it had no “other choice” to protect itself from “terrorist groups”.

And the Iranian mission continued in its message, “These groups have recently intensified their activities and illegally transferred large quantities of weapons to Iran to arm their affiliated groups that intend to carry out terrorist operations.”

With regard to Turkey, it may reduce its military operations as a response to the redeployment of Iraqi forces on the border, according to researcher Saman, but “it will return to attack bases in the region, because this is linked to the existence of strategic objectives to control the region politically and economically, and it sees it as a natural extension of it.” since the days of the Ottoman Empire.

On November 21, the Iraqi government expressed its “strong condemnation” of the Iranian bombardment that targeted sites of the Iranian Kurdish opposition parties, refusing to turn Iraq into “an arena for settling scores.”

A statement by the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs added, “The Iraqi government affirms that the territory of Iraq will not be a headquarters or a passage to harm any of the neighboring countries.”

The Kurdistan Regional Government condemned the Iranian attacks, but at the same time says that it “does not want its territory to become a launching pad against neighboring countries.”

“Peshmerga”

The border areas in Iraqi Kurdistan are under the control of the Peshmerga, which are special military forces in the Kurdistan region that follow a ministry of their own.

Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Security and Defense Committee, Representative Skafan Youssef Sindi, said that the Iraqi forces that will be deployed on the borders will be “supportive and supportive of the Peshmerga forces present on the borders.”

In response to Al-Hurra’s inquiries, he affirmed that this decision does not mean “escalation and confrontation with Turkey and Iran,” noting that “there may be some vacuum in the border areas, and for this reason, this void must be filled, and borders controlled and secured to serve Iraqi interests.”

The spokesman for the commander of the Iraqi forces, Major General Al-Zubaidi, told Al-Hurra that “the Peshmerga forces are the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Guard forces, and they are present in the Iraqi constitution,” and they differ from the “Border Guard Forces of the Ministry of Interior” that secure border points.

A statement by the Iraqi government stated that the plan to redeploy the Iraqi border forces would be developed “in coordination with the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq and the Ministry of Peshmerga.”

On Tuesday, a delegation from the Peshmerga met with representatives of the Ministries of Interior and Defense. The two sides agreed on “a strategy aimed at enhancing border security,” according to a statement issued by the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

“The Kurdistan Regional Government will send reinforcements from the Peshmerga to the border,” said a spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government, Lawk Ghafouri, told AFP.

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