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from the autonomous Kurdistan region as reinforcements to disputed Tuz Khurmatu, though many of them were subsequently withdrawn, a high-ranking Kurdish officer said.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.

 

Turkey seeks to restore broken ties with Russia

Netanyahu lauds Israel’s deal with Turkey

Egypt deports British-Lebanese TV show host

EgyptAir black box flight recorder 'repaired'

Qatar uses high-tech solution to find perfect pitch

11 Kurdish rebels, 3 Revolutionary Guards killed in Iran

Deadly bombings target Yemen troops in ex-Qaeda bastion

NGOs press EU leaders on Africa migrant plan

Jordanian intelligence officials sold weapons for Syria rebels on black market

On British-Irish border, Brexit breeds worries for future

New lawyers of Gaddafi son urge ICC to drop case

Bahrain jails 5 people on charges linked to ‘terrorism’

Erdogan apologises to Putin over downing of Russia jet

Clashes continue at Al-Aqsa compound

Turkey allows German minister visit after air base row

UN chief tells Israelis, Palestinians 'stand firm against violence'

Brexit vote unlikely to curtail Gulf appetite for London property

Egypt cancels high school final exam after online leaks

One year on, Tunisia holds minute silence for beach massacre victims

5 killed in string of suicide bombings in Lebanon

Dozens killed as clashes intensify in Yemen

Sarraj says only united military can defeat ISIS in Libya

Jordan court charges 21 people with 'terrorism'

Iraq forces take ISIS last positions in Fallujah

Iran conceals heated military standoff in Kurdish region

Brexit vote lays bare depth of division across Britain

Young Britons vent anger at grey Brexit vote

Russia planes pound Aleppo as Syria regime forces closes in

Car bomb kills four civilians in Libya's Benghazi

US-backed Syria fighters edge further into ISIS border hub

Tunisia flaunts seaside security to bring back tourists

Britain and EU: A fraught divorce

Libya govt. forces repel ISIS counterattack in Sirte

Oil slides on British referendum result

Crashed EgyptAir black boxes to go to France for repairs

5,000 migrants rescued from rubber dinghies in Mediterranean

Britain votes to break away from EU, PM resigns

Turkey acquits British academic over 'terror propaganda' charges

24 jailed in Bahrain for forming IS cell

Iraq commander says forces control over 80% of Fallujah

Israel sentences 4 Palestinians to life

Turkey in new quest to patch up with regional foes

Defiant Bahrain moves to dissolve opposition bloc

Kurdish-Arab forces push into IS Syria bastion of Manbij

Yemen govt says rebels must withdraw before any transition