First Published: 2012-11-19

 

Iraq-Kurdistan tensions reach new highs

 

Kurdistan president puts peshmerga security forces on high alert following clashes with Iraqi forces amid Baghdad’s denial.

 

Middle East Online

Barzani called on the peshmerga forces to exercise restraint in the face of provocations

ARBIL, Iraq - The president of Iraq's Kurdistan region has ordered its peshmerga security forces on high alert, a statement issued on Saturday said, attributing the move to clashes with central government forces.

An Iraqi general however said that the clashes in question came during an arrest attempt and did not involve the peshmerga.

Tensions between Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq have been running high after the establishment of a new military command covering disputed territory, and over various other long-running disputes.

Kurdistan president Massud Barzani called "on the peshmerga forces to exercise restraint in the face of provocations, but also to be in a highest state of readiness to face any aggressive acts," the statement on his website said.

It said the alert followed clashes between central government forces and peshmerga in the disputed town of Tuz Khurmatu on Friday "in which one person died and several were wounded."

But the head of Baghdad's recently established Tigris Operations Command, Lieutenant General Abdulamir al-Zaidi, said that the incident did not involve the peshmerga and was rather an attempt to arrest a man accused of offences including murder and kidnapping.

The establishment of the command, based in Kirkuk city and covering all of the province of the same name as well as neighbouring Salaheddin and Diyala, has drawn an angry response from Kurdish leaders who want to incorporate much of the area into their autonomous region.

The dispute over the command strikes at the heart of an unresolved row between Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government in Arbil over territory, oil and the interpretation of Iraq's federal constitution.

 

Push on IS capital Raqqa gathers momentum

Israel to deny Human Rights Watch visas for being ‘biased’

Iraq forces look to build floating bridge in Mosul

Boosting presidental powers will 'stabilise' Turkey, says PM

Bethlehem fetes Arab Idol singing hero

Shia leadership struggle ahead after Khamenei and Sistani

Morocco to withdraw from Western Sahara tension zone

The huge risks of Trump’s call to ‘take’ Iraqi oil

Trump set to zero in on Hezbollah in bid to curb Iran

Time bomb of unemployment among Arab youth

Woman journalist says targeted by hardliners in Sudan

Iran's Ahmadinejad writes open letter to Trump

Iran's Rouhani to run for re-election

Kurdish reporter killed while covering Mosul battle

Libya govt secures ceasefire after Tripoli clashes

Saudi Foreign Minister in landmark visit to Iraq

Iraqi forces push deeper into west Mosul

Suicide attacks kill 42 in Syria's Homs

Top US commander in secret Syria trip

UN considers Syria sanctions over chemical attacks

Saudi Comic-Con slammed as ‘sin’ in online backlash

Jordanians protest government price hikes

Baghdad coordinated anti-IS airstrikes with Damascus says source

New Hamas Gaza leader makes first public appearance

Palestinian protestors clash with Israeli soldiers in West Bank

Jordanian F-16 crashes in Saudi, pilot survives

Suicide bomb attack on rebels kills 51 near Al-Bab

Iraqi PM says air force strikes IS targets in Syria

Iraqi forces enter IS-held west Mosul

UN slams light sentence for Israeli soldier

Saudi king seeks investment on rare Asia tour

UN Syria peace talks begin in Geneva

Saudi minister discusses hajj with Iran

136 Turkish diplomats, soldiers seek German asylum since coup

New Hamas ‘strongman’ could spell fresh Israeli conflict

Suicide car bomb kills eight outside Yemen army base

Fired Turkish academics protest ‘unjust’ dismissals

Iraqi forces jovial after Mosul airport entry

Syrian rebels announce capture of flashpoint town from IS

Iraqi forces enter IS-held Mosul airport

Swedish citizen jailed for IS Facebook post

Somalia names new prime minister

Netanyahu backs pardon for Israel soldier who shot Palestinian

UN envoy meets Syrian rivals, hopes of breakthrough slim

Yemeni government forces pin back rebels on coast