Kurdish officials deny US demands to
withdraw Peshmarga from Kirkuk
one asked for withdrawal of Peshmarga Forces in
BAGHDAD/ERBIL, — A spokesman for the
Kurdistan Blocs Coalition (KBC) said on Tuesday that
only the Kurdish leadership will decide when to
withdraw the Kurdish Peshmarga security forces
stationed around Kirkuk, refuting rumors of U.S.
intervention on the matter.
Muayyid al-Tayyib’s remarks follow a report from an
official Kurdish source who preferred to remain
anonymous yesterday saying that the U.S. had given
two weeks to
vacate Kirkuk province.
Tayyib told AK news that the Peshmarga forces in
Kirkuk do not constitute
Kurdish Peshmarga forces in Kirkuk
a threat to any other ethnic group, and their duty
is to protect the governmental institutions in the
province and protect the lives of civilians from
acts of violence.
“The withdrawal of the Peshmarga forces from Kirkuk
will be decided by the Kurdish leadership,” he said,
“we were not informed of a U.S. request for the
withdrawal of Peshmarga forces from Kirkuk in 15
Also Jabar Yawar, the speaker for Peshmarga Ministry
of Kurdistan Regional Government, has announced that
until now no one asked for the removal of Peshmarga
forces in Kirkuk province,www.ekurd.netpro-KRG
Peyamner website reported.
Kurdistan’s Peshmerga Ministry undersecretary Anwar
Haji, has also flatly denied receiving orders from
the U.S. forces or Iraqi Defense ministry to
withdraw its troops from the province.
The Kurdish Peshmarga forces were deployed in the
multi-ethnic province in late February when the wave
of demonstrations over the poor provision of public
services and administrative corruption across Iraq
Although the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)
maintained the forces were stationed near Kirkuk to
protect the Kurds and other minorities in the
province from insurgent attacks, their presence
heightened tensions between the province’s three
main ethnic groups.
Kirkuk’s Arabs and Turkomen said that the presence
of the Kurdish forces violates the sovereignty of
the federal government and demanded their immediate
It is noteworhty that AKnews recieved a tip-off from
an unidentified source in Erbil International
Airport on Monday that the United Nations Special
Envoy to Iraq Ed Melkert had landed in the capital
of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region to meet Kurdish leaders.
The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is one of the most disputed areas by the
regional government and the Iraqi government in Baghdad.
The Kurds are seeking to integrate the province into
the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region clamming it to
be historically a Kurdish city, it lies just south
border of the Kurdistan autonomous region, the
population is a mix of majority Kurds and minority
of Arabs,www.ekurd.netChristians and Turkmen, lies 250 km
northeast of Baghdad.
Kurds have a strong cultural and emotional
attachment to Kirkuk, which they call "the Kurdish
Jerusalem." Kurds see it as the rightful and
perfect capital of an autonomous Kurdistan state.
Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution is related to
the normalization of the situation in Kirkuk city
and other disputed areas through having back its
Kurdish inhabitants and repatriating the Arabs
relocated in the city during the former regime’s
time to their original provinces in central and
The article also calls for conducting a census to be
followed by a referendum to let the inhabitants
decide whether they would like Kirkuk to be annexed
to the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region or having
it as an independent province.
The former regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
had forced over 250,000 Kurdish residents to give up
their homes to Arabs in the 1970s, to "Arabize" the
city and the region's oil industry.
The last ethnic-breakdown census in Iraq was
conducted in 1957, well before Saddam began his
program to move Arabs to Kirkuk. That count showed
178,000 Kurds, 48,000 Turkomen, 43,000 Arabs and
10,000 Assyrian-Chaldean Christians living in the
Copyright ©, respective
author or news agency,
aknews.com | ekurd.net | Agencies
does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news
information on this page