U.S. and Kurdistan Regional Government officials discussed ways to increase coordination between Kurdish and federal military forces in the disputed territories of Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din and Diyala. Crisis Group expert Lahib Higel says that the multiplicity of competing regular and irregular forces in these areas has fueled local tensions, while the exclusion of Kurdish regional guards from areas where they have experience and intelligence undermines the fight against ISIS remnants. Baghdad and Erbil should identify areas that would benefit from joint coordination and reduce the presence of non-local forces from population centres.

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