The Maliki threat against the Kurds / A dangerous development

BAGHDAD, – Nininews – 19.11.2012 :  The Office of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces warned the Kurdistan Regional Guard (Peshmerga) to approach the Iraqi armed forces. 

The semi-official Al-Iraqiya TV Channel said “The Office of the Commander in Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces has warned the Kurdistan Regional Guard forces of relocating or approaching from the armed forces.” It is mentioned that clashes had been erupted two days ago in the district of Tuz northeast of Tikrit, between a force of the Tigris (Dijla) Operations Command TOC and the Kurdish security forces, killed and wounded 18 policemen, mostly from the Tigris operations.

The president of Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, said earlier that the formation of the Tigris Operations Command is an important reason for the instability and does not serve the application of Article 140 of the Constitution, adding that Tigris operations command was founded in the intentions and goals against the Kurds and coexistence in the disputed areas. While Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki stressed that “the movement of the Iraqi army must be free on every inch of the land of Iraq, and provinces or territory have no right to object”, describing the movement of the Peshmerga in the disputed areas as “legal and a constitutional violation.”

Maliki said that the formation of the Tigris Operations Command “is not aimed at a component or a province or national but it is administrative and regulatory action within the constitutional powers.” Barzani ordered its Peshmerga security forces on high alert, a statement issued on Saturday said, attributing the move to clashes with central government forces. An Iraqi general however said that the clashes in question came during an arrest attempt and did not involve the Peshmerga. Also Massoud Barzani said Saturday the region was fully prepared to defend itself, after a skirmish between Iraqi forces and Kurdish troops along their disputed internal border. Tuz Khurmatu, on Friday witnessed fierce clashes between Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Iraqi Tigris (Dijla) Operations troops, during which Two people were killed and 10 others wounded. The clashes erupted in Tuz Khurmatu district in Salahuddin province when Iraqi soldiers attempted to search a house belonging to a Kurdish official Goran Najam, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK, officials said. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is the current leader of the PUK, Reuters reported. The ethnically mixed town of Tuz Khurmato is part an area claimed by the semiautonomous region of Kurdistan and by the Baghdad government.