Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief – July 27, 2015

Barham Salih: Present situation is a warning for Iraq’s Kurdistan Region

Slemani: Former Iraqi Kurdistan PM and deputy leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Barham Salih, stated Turkey attacks against the bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Qandil Mountains in the region is a warning for the Kurds today and in the future. He stated the attacks are an illegal attempt and has caused worries and it is also against the Kurdish peace process between Turkey and the PKK. Reminding internal disputes among Kurds, Salih added the present situation is a warning for the present and future of Kurds and the moves can be attempts to halt Kurds’ democracy-seeking movement. Salih added that the regional countries are better to fight against the Islamic State (IS) instead of making tension. He ultimately asked both Ankara and the PKK not to deteriorate the situation, demanding Turkey pro-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) to follow the peace process not to allow the region to fall into a disaster. |
Iraqi oil minister meets Kurdistan President to discuss Erbil-Baghdad disputes
Erbil: The Kurdistan Region President welcomed Iraqi Oil Minister Adil Abdul al-Mahdi in Erbil on Sunday July 26th, where the pair restarted talks aimed at solving the oil and budget issues between Erbil and Baghdad. President Barzani and al-Mahdi focused on the December 2014 agreement Erbil-Baghdad and talked about the obstacles, which have so far led the accord to fall. Erbil and Baghdad regularly accuse each other of violating the terms of the agreement. Barzani and al-Mahdi stressed that cooperation and negotiation must continue until the issues are resolved. Disputes started in January 2014 when the Iraqi federal government failed to send Kurdistan Region’s share of budget; in return, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been selling oil independently, bypassing the State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO).

UK provides £1 million for Iraqi Federal and Kurdistan Region’s humanitarian crisis coordination centres
Erbil: The Federal Government of Iraq’s Joint Coordination and Monitoring Centre (JCMC) and Kurdistan Regional Government KRG’s Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) on Sunday met in Erbil to discuss how to effectively reach to more than 3 million displaced Iraqis in the country, as funding is drying up. The United Kingdom and UN Development Programme (UNDP) also signed a new partnership of £1 million (US$ 1.5 million) to build the capacity of these two key institutions. Responsible for coordinating one of the region’s largest and most complex humanitarian operations, the two crises centres will cooperate to reach to millions of displaced people through prioritization, planning and targeting, as well as resource mobilization. Karim Sinjari, Minister of Interior of the KRG, stressed the importance of stronger coordination. “Today we are facing the worst humanitarian crisis ever. Cooperation between the JCC and JCMC is crucial as it is important to overcome coordination barriers across the country to jointly confront the current crisis,” he said… |

Kurdistan Parliament Speaker calls airstrikes a breach of the region’s borders
Erbil: Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament’s Speaker, Yusif Muhammad Sadiq, says Turkish airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraqi Kurdistan are a breach of the region’s borders. Sadiq met with out-going U.S. Consul General Joseph Pennington and an accompanying delegation on Sunday to discuss the air campaign against Kurdish fighters based in the Qandil mountains. “Turkey has trespassed the borders of the Kurdistan Region. I hope that Turkey and the PKK solve their problems through negotiations, since using violence makes the situation worse,” Sadiq said. Pennington echoed Sadiq’s statement calling for peace. “We hope all political sides in Kurdistan try to find a solution for pending political issues as soon as possible,” Pennington said. After Turkish jets launched a series of strikes, the Kurdistan Parliament issued a statement Saturday, saying none of Turkey’s previous governments had successfully solved their issues with the Kurdish fighters through war… |

Kurdish Peshmerga, Asayish forces arrest 14 wanted in the vicinity of Qere Tepe
Diyala: A local source revealed that Peshmerga forces arrested 14 wanted in the regions surrounding Qere Tepe sub-district, based on information received from the security forces in Diyala. Rahim Al-Kiji , the Head of Qere Tepe Council said that “ Peshmerga forces and Asayish launched raid and search operations carried out in the regions and towns surrounding Qere Tepe based on the security information from the federal security forces. Al-Kiji announced that Kurdish forces in coordination with the police and the army arrested 14 wanted entered the sub-district in the past periods and build on the lists received from the security forces in Diyala, stressing that the detainees were handed over to the security forces in Diyala within the security coordination between the security forces and Peshmerga. Qere Tepe sub-district (110 km north of the city of Baquba) is experiencing escalation of violence during the past periods and terrorist attacks that have left a number of dead and wounded… |

Iranian FM Zarif arrives in Iraq

Baghdad: Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Jawad Zarif arrived late Sunday July 26 in Najaf, Iraqi holy city, within his tour to regional countries. According to Iran, Zarif will make a visit to Karbala early Monday and would return to Karbala visit Imam Ali’s holy shrine and religious authorities in the city, including Iraqi religious leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani. He would later head to Baghdad to discuss important international, regional and Iraq developments and Iran nuclear deal with western powers with President Fuad Massoum, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

Residents being returned to liberated towns of Jalawla, Sadia
Diyala: The process of returning refugees to the Diyala province towns of Jawla and Sadia, which have been long-liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) group, has begun and will continue, officials told Rudaw on Sunday. “There is very good coordination between Kurds and us to help bring back families who had fled Jalawla when ISIS took it over last year,” said Brig. Ghalib Atiya, a media officer in the provincial police force. “The process got recently underway, and will continue until all refugees are returned home. Currently, more than 240 families have been assisted to return to the town of Sadia,” he said. He explained that Iraqi parties, the security forces, the provincial council and the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi that assisted government forces liberate the town, were all in agreement that the resettlement should be completed before the beginning of the new school year. The two towns are part of the so-called “disputed territories” that are claimed both by the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the north…