First Published: 2017-10-19

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP
Rasul to be arrested on charges of ‘provocation’ after entering Kirkuk with his peshmerga fighters, calling Iraqi forces ‘occupation forces’.
Middle East Online

Arrest warrants likely to prove toothless as security forces do not operate inside Iraqi Kurdistan

BAGHDAD -A Baghdad court on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for the vice president of Iraqi Kurdistan on charges of "provocation" against Iraq's armed forces, the judiciary said.

Kosrat Rasul had referred to the Iraqi army and federal police as "occupation forces" in a statement on Wednesday, the court said.

In the statement, Rasul, who is also vice president of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main Kurdish parties, criticised his own group for not having resisted the entry of Iraqi federal forces into the disputed northern city of Kirkuk on Monday.

"The court considers these comments as provocation against the armed forces, under Article 226 of the penal code," an offence which can carry a jail term of up to seven years or a fine, said a judiciary spokesman.

Rasul, who is close to Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani, head of the PUK's rival, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, entered Kirkuk with his peshmerga fighters on Sunday but pulled out without a fight.

The judiciary in the Iraqi capital last week also ordered the arrest of three senior Kurdish officials responsible for organising a September 25 independence referendum that went ahead in defiance of Baghdad.

Iraq's supreme court had ruled the vote unconstitutional and ordered it called off.

The arrest warrants are likely to prove toothless as Baghdad's security forces do not operate inside Iraqi Kurdistan, but they could stop the officials leaving the northern region.

 

At least 235 killed in Egypt mosque attack

Saudi Crown Prince calls Iran supreme leader 'new Hitler'

Syrian opposition agrees to send united delegation to Geneva talks

Saudi-led coalition clears passenger flights to Sanaa

Baghdad's Shabandar cafe marks century since opening

Turkey says Trump pledged to stop arming Kurds

Turkey president sues main opposition party leader

Lebanon's Hariri brings status quo back with him

Activists say 'everybody knew' about Libya slave trade

Erdogan says no contact 'at the moment' with Assad

Lebanon's Jumblatt criticises Saudi Arabia, Iran

China says it will make efforts on Syria reconstruction

Turkey to detain 79 former teachers in post-coup probe

Hezbollah hails PM's suspension of resignation

Syrian opposition aims for unity at talks in Riyadh

Egypt police kill 3 Islamists in shootout

Turkey unsure if Assad to be part of Syria political transition

Migrant arrivals from Libya down since EU deal

Palestinian factions leave Cairo talks with little progress

Sudan’s Bashir looks to Putin for ‘protection’ from US aggression

China, Djibouti forge 'strategic' ties

IS propaganda channels fall quiet in 'unprecedented' hiatus

Kremlin to create Syria congress despite Turkey ‘reservations’

Netanyahu berates deputy minister for 'offensive' remarks on US Jews

Egypt PM heads to Germany for medical treatment

Egypt destroys 10 SUVs carrying arms on Libya border

Outrage in Iraq over 'child marriage' bill

Iraq launches operation to clear last IS holdouts from desert

Saudi-led coalition to reopen Yemen airport, port to aid

Turkey court rules to keep Amnesty chief in jail

France calls for UN meeting on Libya slave-trading

Egypt detains 29 for allegedly spying for Turkey

WTO panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE blockade

Three dead as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Lebanon’s Hariri suspends resignation

Israel seizes explosive material at Gaza border

Activists call for release of UK journalist held by IS

Bahrain upholds jail sentence for activist

Iraq attacks at lowest since 2014

Turkey continues crackdown in post-coup probe

Hariri back in Lebanon

Putin to hold Syria peace talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

US carries out air strikes against IS in Libya

Divided Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt ahead of return home