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.


Iraqi forces advancing on Mosul face stiff resistance

No Russian air strikes on Aleppo in 7 days

Thousands of Yemenis await lifting of Coalition blockade

UN receives reports of dozens of IS atrocities near Mosul

In violation of constitution, Iraq parliament votes to ban alcohol

UN envoy to Yemen presents peace proposal to Huthis

Turkey says US must extradite Gulen to avoid damaging ties

Mosul survivors recount fleeing IS 'caliphate'

Report finds Israeli forces could have avoided killings

NATO flies first surveillance mission backing anti-IS coalition

Russian FM says Mosul offensive equivalent to Moscow's Aleppo bombing

Saudi Arabia denies it imposed Yemen blockade

Syria Kurds say Turkey wants to prevent Raqa recapture

Anger at Israel national theatre show in occupied West Bank

Hundreds protest against UN 'complicity' in rebel-held Yemen capital

Turkey FM says ground operation in Iraq a possibility

Iraqi forces retake town from IS

Iran nuclear negotiator cleared of spying charges

Al-Shabaab in suicide bomb attack on AU base in Somalia

Gunmen kill two policemen in eastern Saudi Arabia

Iraqi paramilitary to block IS from fleeing Mosul for Syria

Two imams arrested in Ibiza over 'Islamic State support'

US general raises Yemen concerns with Saudi officials

At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey explosion

French FM annoys Turkey by contrasting states of emergency

UN planning for 150,000 displaced by Mosul battle

UAE jails Sudanese man for planning attacks on immigrants

Qatar in 3 days of mourning for former emir

16 civilians dead in bombardment of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Civilians suffer in IS 'smoke war'

74 jihadists dead after IS assault on Kirkuk

Nearly 100 civilians dead in Turkey-backed Syria op

Kuwait says more work required to counter IS funding

Mosul refugees under IS fire at Syrian border

Morocco king calls for public administration reform

Israeli air force strikes Gaza

Russia not considering renewing Aleppo ceasefire

Israel minister: ‘we will completely destroy’ Gaza in next war

Mosul battle sees highest number of US air strikes yet

Palestinians free four held after visiting settlement during Sukkot

IS executes five Iraqis in western town

Baghdad denies Ankara taking part in Mosul operation

Clashes, air strikes end Aleppo ceasefire

Iraq forces press Mosul assault

UN call to extend Yemen truce falls on deaf ears