Kurdistan Gov't threatened to deploy more
Kurdish troops in Iraq's disputed areas
August 18, 2011
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
Three brigades of Kurdish Peshmerga forces have
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
now it is only 7 per cent and that is expected to
The Peshmarga minister said he thought the current
Iraqi army was worse than Saddam's army towards the
"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
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.
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