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 Kurdistan Gov't threatened to deploy more Kurdish troops in Iraq's disputed areas

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Kurdistan Gov't threatened to deploy more Kurdish troops in Iraq's disputed areas  18.8.2011  

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August 18, 2011

ERBIL-Hewlęr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — The Kurdish Minister of Peshmarga Affairs (KRG) Jaafar Sheikh Mustafa threatened on Wednesday to act unilaterally in deploying more Kurdish troops to disputed areas and sending forces into the cities if the Peshmerga are not allowed to operate jointly with the Iraqi army in those areas.

The minister's comment comes as Kurdistan Regional Government KRG officials are in talks with the federal government officials to find a way to allow the Peshmarga (Kurdish army) to operate in areas of disputed sovereignty in order to protect the Kurds who have been complaining of being targeted by insurgents groups.

Three brigades of Kurdish Peshmerga forces have already been stationed around the disputed              

The Kurdish Minister of Peshmarga Affairs (KRG) Jaafar Sheikh Mustafa. Photo: KRG
districts of Khanaqin, Jalawla and Saadiyah and are awaiting orders from the KRG to enter those urban areas. 

Kurdish officials have been accusing the Iraqi army of not protecting Kurds in the disputed areas.

Mustafa blamed the Iraqi army's failure to protect the Kurds on not incorporating adequate personnel from the Kurdish community in those areas.

He told an emergency session of the parliament of Kurdistan Region Wednesday that "the Iraqi army should incorporate 25 per cent of its personnel from the Kurds,
www.ekurd.netbut now it is only 7 per cent and that is expected to drop.

The Peshmarga minister said he thought the current Iraqi army was worse than Saddam's army towards the Kurds.

"The former regime only expelled the Kurds from their home, but now despite Kurds being displaced from their homes, civilians are also killed and bombed," he said in reference to an incident on Wednesday where a Kurdish engineer was abducted by an insurgent and blown up.

Karim Sinjari, KRG minister of the interior who was also present in the parliamentary session told AKnews that tri-partite talks between the KRG, Baghdad and the US forces to find solutions to the tensions will start later this month.

Diyala province, a restive part of Iraq outside the Kurdish autonomous region of Kurdistan but home to many Kurds. The Diyala district, which includes a string of villages and some of Iraq's oil reserves, is home to about 175,000 Kurds, most of them Shiites.

In June 2006, the local council of Khanaqin proposed that the district be integrated into the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

During the Arabisation policy of Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, a large number of Kurdish Shiites were displaced by force from Khanaqin. They started returning after the fall of Saddam in 2003.

Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution is related to the normalization of the situation in Kirkuk city and other disputed areas like Khanaqin.

Kurdistan's government says oil-rich Khanaqin should be part of its semi-autonomous region, which it hopes to expand in a referendum in the future. In the meantime, Khanaqin and other so-called disputed areas remain targets of Sunni Arab insurgents opposed to Kurdish expansion and vowing to hold onto land seized during ex-dictator Saddam Hussein's efforts to "Arabize" the region.
  

Copyright, respective author or news agency, aknews.com | ekurd.net | Agencies  

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