ERBIL, September 17 (AKnews) – Tigris Operations Command – a controversial operations command formed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – has taken the evacuated camp of the Iranian dissident group People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK). “After MEK members were transferred from Ashraf camp and it was completely evacuated, there were efforts to use the place for Tigris Operations Command” said Uday Khudran, mayor of Kaalis district – where the camp is located.
The Iraqi government and the United Nations signed an agreement on December 25 last year to transfer refugees from Ashraf Camp to Camp Liberty near Baghdad.
A member of Diyala’s security committee Suhad Hiali confirmed that the camp will be used by the TOC. “The… decision of taking over of the camp has been resolved already.” According to an order issued by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s office the TOC will be formed of all Defense and Interior Ministry’s armed forces from Diyala and Kirkuk provinces.The formation of the TOC was rejected by the Kurds in the Iraqi parliament, Kirkuk and Kurdistan Region as well saying it would not add anything to the improvement of security situations in the two provinces. This decision was rejected by Kurdistan Parliament’s Presidency and all political parties in the region. The Kurds also see the formation of the TOC as an attempt by the Shiite Prime Minister to weaken Kurdish control in the oil-rich Kirkuk as well as Sunni Arabs in Diyala.