First Published: 2012-11-19

 

Iraq PM warns peshmerga to stay put

 

Maliki’s warning comes as response to Kurd security forces’ deployment in disputed Tuz Khurmatu.

 

Middle East Online

Tensions escalating

BAGHDAD - Iraq's premier has warned Kurdish regional security forces not to advance towards government troop positions, a military spokesman said on Monday, after deadly clashes in a flashpoint northern town.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office warned the Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, "not to change their positions or approach the (federal) armed forces," Iraqi military spokesman Colonel Dhia al-Wakil said in a message.

The warning was an apparent response to the deployment of thousands of troops from the autonomous Kurdistan region as reinforcements to disputed Tuz Khurmatu, though many of them were subsequently withdrawn, a high-ranking Kurdish officer said.

Clashes in the town on Friday that killed one person and wounded others took place between peshmerga and Iraqi government forces, Kurdistan president Massud Barzani said, but an Iraqi general denied Kurdish forces were involved.

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.

Barzani ordered the peshmerga "to exercise restraint in the face of provocations, but also to be in a highest state of readiness to face any aggressive acts."

Kurdish leaders want to expand their autonomous region across a swathe of territory that stretches from Iraq's eastern border with Iran to its western frontier with Syria, against strong opposition by Maliki's government.

The unresolved row poses the biggest threat to Iraq's long-term stability, diplomats and officials say.

US forces played a coordinating role between Kurdish and Arab forces in the disputed territory, forming joint patrols and checkpoints comprised of US soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and troops, and Kurdish peshmerga forces.

But US troops withdrew from Iraq last year, removing a buffer to Arab-Kurd tensions.

 

Tunisia votes for president in final leg of democratic transition

Barzani in Mount Sinjar after end of jihadist siege

Yemen’s Huthis seize Sanaa state offices

Tough times for oil-rich GCC

Tumbling oil prices cut budgets of Mideast arms exporters

Turkey acquits sociologist over 1998 explosion

EU foreign affairs head to visit Iraq

Turkey court remands Samanyolu TV chief in custody

IS threatens to kill Lebanese soldiers held hostage

Obama concerned about Egypt mass trials

Iraq’s peshmerga ‘break’ Mount Sinjar siege

Turkish media chiefs charged with terrorism

Iraq may delay payment of Kuwait war reparations

Over $900 million needed to help Syria children

Saudi rules out oil output reduction

Dutch populist lawmaker to be tried for 'fewer Moroccans' vow

Outrage in Algeria over Islamist call for Algerian author's death

Iraq Kurds, coalition launch offensive to retake Sinjar

Three years to end Israeli occupation in UN resolution

Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

Sharp rise in Syria passport applications

Turkey FM visit to Iran highlights Syria divide

UK troops mistreated Iraq detainees in 2004

Saudi to carry on massive public spending

Iran to Australia: We warned you about the gunman

From bikini to Jihad in Ceuta, Melilla

Tunisia votes Sunday in second round of presidential poll

Islamist militias launch air strike near key Libyan oil terminals

Egypt refers 312 Islamists to military courts

Turkey rejects EU criticism over media arrests

Kerry meets chief Palestinian negotiator

Saudi cleric sparks uproar for showing wife’s face

15,000 march against country’s ‘Islamisation’ in eastern Germany

Key oil producers face uncertain outlook in 2015

Gulf stock markets tumble

Australia mourns Sydney cafe siege victims

Hostages flee as police storm Sydney café

Erdogan to EU: Mind your own business!

Syria PM in Iran for talks with key ally

22 Swiss jihadists fighting abroad

#illridewithyou: Australians stand in solidarity with Muslims

Sydney siege 'lone wolf' or IS-led attack?

EU support UN efforts for Aleppo ceasefire

Saudi policeman killed in Riyadh hostage-taking