PUK-Affiliated Armed Forces Declare Impartiality in Internal Tensions – The armed forces rather attempt to maintain unity within PUK

Basnews English – 03/09/2016 – SULAYMANIYAH — The Kurdish armed forces affiliated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) have announced that they remain impartial in the conflicts within the party. The 70th unit of the Peshmerga forces, which is under the control of PUK, will not side with the conflicting factions, and it attempts to pressure the sides to maintain the unity of PUK, reads a statement released by the PUK-affiliated Peshmerga unit. The reaction comes two days after deputy secretary-generals, Kosrat Rasoul and Barham Salih, announced the formation of a ‘decision-making body’ within PUK to limit the “monopoly” of authority by the influential faction.

The statement stresses out that the forces will not allow “individuals and factions” to cause rifts within PUK and weaken the party. Following the establishment of the ‘decision-making body’, Hero Ibrahim, an influential politburo member and the former Iraqi first lady during Jalal Talabani’s reign, fiercely criticized the approach and called it “illegitimate”. The mounting tensions has alarmed Iran which is said to be playing a role of mediator between the conflicting sides. Earlier reports claimed that a delegation from Tehran has arrived in Sulaymaniyah, but a senior PUK official previously said that Iran, Turkey and the US are now in contact with PUK to settle down the situation, but an Iranian delegation has not yet arrived in Sulaymaniyah.