Iraqi PM orders withdrawal of militias from Kirkuk

Frederick Owens
October 20, 2017

The Kurdistan Regional Government had previously indicated they meant to keep all that territory as part of theirs, and this was particularly important in Kirkuk, which the Kurds have historical claims to.

Hemin Hawrami, a top aide to KRG President Masoud Barzani, tweeted that people had fled "looting and sectarian oppression" inflicted by Popular Mobilisation militia. One incident outside Kirkuk resulted in 11 dead.

Kosrat Rasul had referred to the Iraqi army and federal police as "occupation forces" in a statement on Wednesday, the court said.

Khanaqin, mainly populated by Kurds, also lies in a long contested territory just outside KRG boundaries. "All other armed group should not be allowed to stay", Abadi said.

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.

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Baghdad moved to reclaim control of Kirkuk following the September 25 independence referendum in Kurdistan. The Kurds' long-time big power ally, the United States, also opposed the vote.

The Mosul Dam, northwest of the city, is among the positions retaken from the Peshmerga, the military statement said.

"It added: "(We have) asked the worldwide community to help both sides start a dialogue to solve the outstanding issues based on the Iraqi constitution".

‭ There is a need for dialogue between KRG and Iraq so as to reach a common understanding, Bakir said, according to a transcript of the interview published on KRG's website, adding the dispute was not about oil or the national flag but about the future of two nations.

Kurdish fighters, known as the Peshmerga, retreated Monday and Tuesday from several disputed areas in northern Iraq, which they have held since 2014.

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