Opposition calls on Iraqi Kurd leader to resign

Monday, 23 October 2017

Iraqi Kurdistan’s main opposition party called Sunday for the autonomous region’s president to resign after Baghdad seized swathes of disputed territory from Kurdish forces in response to an independence vote.Shoresh Haji of the Goran movement, which holds 24 out of 111 seats in the Iraqi Kurdistan parliament, said Massud Barzani and his deputy Kosrat Rasul should step down.“The Kurdistan region’s president and his deputy no longer have any legitimacy and should ...

Between opposing Kurdish separation and sidelining the Kurds

Saturday, 21 October 2017

It was inevitable for Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani to try out his citizens’ luck, the Iraqi Kurds, in fulfilling a long time dream of theirs – separation and running an independent state. Most arrows were pointing to failure, so why did Barzani do it? Perhaps if he didn’t, fingers would be pointing at him in the future accused of failing his people. This is critical because Barzani assumed joint effort with Baghdad’s government both militarily and politically over the ...

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

US urges Iraq to avoid clashes with Kurds near Kirkuk

Saturday, 21 October 2017

The US State Department on Friday urged the Baghdad government to avoid clashes in northern Iraq by limiting the movement of federal troops in disputed areas to those coordinated with the Kurdistan Regional Government. In a statement, it said Washington was concerned by reports of violent clashes around the town of Altun Kupri. “The reassertion of federal authority over disputed areas in no way changes their status - they remain disputed until their status is resolved in accordance with ...

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Thursday, 19 October 2017

A Baghdad court on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for the vice president of Iraqi Kurdistan on charges of “provocation” against Iraq’s armed forces, the judiciary said. Kosrat Rasul had referred to the Iraqi army and federal police as “occupation forces” in a statement on Wednesday, the court said. In the statement, Rasul, who is also vice president of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main Kurdish parties, criticized his own group for not ...

As tensions rage back home, Iraq’s U-17 talents return to a changed country

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A little more than two weeks ago, 21 of Iraq’s most-talented teenage footballers boarded a flight from Baghdad to contest the FIFA U17 World Cup in India. On Thursday, they returned home after being eliminated in the Round of 16 by Mali, but the country they are returning to is a nation much changed. Since the squad arrived in Kolkata on Oct. 2, Iraqi military troops have responded to a Kurdish referendum on independence by seizing control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and transforming ...

Abadi orders the withdrawal of all military forces from Kirkuk

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Wednesday ordered the withdrawal of all armed groups in Kirkuk, including the Popular Mobilization Militias, and the handover of security to local police and counter-terrorism units only. Al-Abadi confirmed in a statement that “security in Kirkuk is under the control of the local police with the support of counter-terrorism units". In his statement, Abadi, ordered the prevention of any armed group presence in the province and to pursue elements ...

Iraqi Kurds postpone polls in face of crisis

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on Wednesday postponed presidential and legislative elections because of the current crisis with Baghdad, its electoral commission said.The region’s Independent High Electoral Commission said it had “decided to suspend temporarily preparations for the elections set for November 1 because of the current situation”.Iraqi government forces said Wednesday they had retaken from Kurdish fighters almost all the areas disputed between Baghdad and ...

Kurdish forces withdraw to June 2014 lines: Iraqi army commander

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have retreated to positions they held in northern Iraq in June 2014 in response to an Iraqi army advance into the region after a Kurdish independence referendum rejected by Baghdad, a senior Iraqi commander said on Wednesday.An Iraqi military statement said government forces had taken control of Kurdish-held areas of Nineveh province, which includes the major city of Mosul, on Tuesday after the Peshmerga pulled back. The Mosul hydro-electric dam, northwest of the city, ...

Iraqi forces start advancing toward Kurdish-held Kirkuk

Monday, 16 October 2017

Iraqi forces took control of “vast areas” in the oil-rich region of Kirkuk without opposition from Kurdish Peshmerga, state TV said on Monday. The announcement came after reports that Iraqi forces began moving at around midnight toward an important airbase and oilfields located west of the city. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi gave orders to the security forces “to impose security in Kirkuk in cooperation with the population and the Peshmerga,” the TV said. Iraqi ...

Iraq says Kurds brought PKK fighters to Kirkuk in ‘declaration of war’

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Iraqi government accused Kurdish authorities on Sunday of bringing fighters from Turkey’s separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to the disputed oil-rich city of Kirkuk and said it considered the move a “declaration of war”. In a statement published after a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and attended by top military and security commanders, the government said it will seek to impose its authority over Kirkuk and other disputed ...

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