Barzani: Peshmarga forces won’t leave Kirkuk

Barzani: Peshmarga forces won’t leave Kirkuk
Thu Jul 3, 2014 18:11:13

Masoud Barzani, President of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region says the Kurdish Peshmerga forces will not withdraw from the Iraqi oil-rich city of Kirkuk after they occupied the city amid extremist militants’ insurgency.

Barzani said on Thursday that the Kurdish forces will not leave areas under their control.

The Kurdish leader also noted that he had warned the Iraqi government of Takfiri groups' threat six months ago, but Baghdad ignored the warning.

He also called on the Kurdish parliament to set a date for holding a referendum on independence from Iraq.

On Tuesday, Barzani told the state-run BBC that measures are being taken for holding a referendum on Kurdistan’s future within months.

His remarks came only two days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported the creation of an independent Kurdistan state.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday rejected the attempt by the Kurdistan Regional Government to hold the independence referendum, saying the move is unconstitutional and will “damage them a lot.”

The Iraqi premier further emphasized that the Kurdistan region is part of Iraq and must act within the boundaries of the country’s constitution.

Militants from the Takfiri terrorist group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), have attacked Iraq’s northern provinces with the aim of capturing the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The crisis in Iraq escalated after the ISIL militants took control of Mosul on June 10, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of Baghdad.


string(1098) "[{"id":"1602150","sort":"3225966","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/06/12/alalam_635381803603004134_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iraqi Kurdish forces in full control of Kirkuk"} ,{"id":"1602174","sort":"3225967","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/06/12/alalam_635381886242557679_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Kurdish security minister survives blast in Iraq's Kirkuk"} ,{"id":"1606350","sort":"3225968","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/06/27/alalam_635395045621352484_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Barzani: We won’t let Iraq gov’t control oil-rich Kirkuk"} ,{"id":"1606571","sort":"3225969","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/06/28/alalam_635395685477975963_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Kurdish forces violently block refugee-seekers from entering Kirkuk"} ,{"id":"1606929","sort":"3225970","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/06/29/alalam_635396821934625470_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iraq’s Kirkuk military facilities seized by Kurdish force"} ,{"id":"1607041","sort":"3225971","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/06/30/alalam_635397337972788940_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iraqi volunteers attack ISIL in Kirkuk's al-Bashir + video"} ]"