First Published: 2013-04-27

 

New tensions in Kirkuk as Peshmerga deploy near disputed city

 

Kurdish official says move aims at combating militants but Iraq army bills move of peshmerga as ‘political manoeuvre.’

 

Middle East Online

Security move or political manoeuvre?

KIRKUK (Iraq) - Kurdish security forces deployed near the disputed northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, a Kurdish official said Saturday, a move allegedly aimed at combating militants in the area.

In the past week, a wave of violence has killed more than 200 people, including 40 in Kirkuk.

"After consultations with the governor of Kirkuk, there has been a decision for Peshmerga (security) forces to fill the vacuums in general, and especially around the city of Kirkuk," Jabbar Yawar, secretary general of Iraqi Kurdistan's peshmerga ministry, said in a statement.

"The intelligence service of the peshmerga has information that terrorist groups have plans to launch terrorist attacks in these regions," Yawar said. "Our only goal is to preserve the life of citizens."

But the Iraqi army ascribed different motives to the deployment.

"After the latest movements of the peshmerga forces, the army is on alert," a high-ranking army officer said. "The army sees the move of the peshmerga as a (political) manoeuvre and not to fill any vacuum."

Kirkuk province and its eponymous capital, home to Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen, fall within the territory the autonomous Kurdistan region wants to incorporate, despite strong objections from the federal government in Baghdad.

Diplomats and officials say the territorial dispute between Baghdad and Kurdistan -- a three-province region with its own government, security forces, borders and flag but which still receives a portion of the federal budget -- is a major threat to Iraq's long-term stability.

 

Baghdad refuses talks with Kurdistan about referendum results

Three Israelis killed at West Bank settlement

Seven arrested in Egypt for raising rainbow flag at concert

European ambassadors to US strongly back Iran nuclear pact

Dubai set to become first city with flying taxis

Germany’s de facto ‘IS leader’ on trial

Saudi official axed over king's image with Yoda

Erdogan expects ‘ethnic war’ after Iraqi Kurdish independence vote

Syrian government ready to discuss Kurdish autonomy

63-year-old American abducted in Yemen's Sanaa

US kills ISIS chiefs hiding in new nerve centre

Saudi establishment spreading Shiite hate speech

Madrid hails Rabat’s collaboration in fighting terrorism

Regional tensions rise in Kurds’ independence vote

Iraq Kurds start voting in historic independence referendum

UAE announces plans for region’s first nuclear reactor

Erdogan threatens Iraqi Kurds with border closure, oil block

Putin to visit Erdogan this week for Syria, Iraq talks

Sudan vows to step up efforts to improve US ties

Turkey to launch intervention into Syria — and maybe into Iraq

Egyptian ‘world’s heaviest woman’ dies in Abu Dhabi

Palestinian unity government remains unlikely

Emirati man fights his employer to serve in country’s army

Palestinian PM to visit Gaza next week

Saudi advisory body to tackle female driving ban

Turkey denies closing Iraqi border in response to Kurdish vote

US air strikes kill 17 Islamic State militants in Libya

US-led strikes killed 84 civilians near Syria's Raqa

Yemen's Hadi says military solution 'most likely'

The high cost of Syria’s destruction

Palestinian negotiator awaits lung transplant in US

Kurds ready for contentious vote in Iraq

A Kurdish state: Reality or utopia?

Saudi intercepts missile fired from Yemen

Saudi Arabia marks national day with fireworks, concerts

Iran defies US, tests missile

Turkey warns of 'security' steps in response to Iraqi Kurd vote

Barzani delays Kurdish independence vote announcement

Syria's war off the radar at UN assembly

For many Iraqis, tradition trumps police

Darfur clashes kill 3 as Bashir urges reconciliation

Saudi cleric banned for saying women have ‘quarter’ brain

Veteran Syrian activist, daughter assassinated in Istanbul

Tunisia drops forced anal exams for homosexuality

Bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen children US-made