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#Kirkuk

Kurdistan, Bagdad muove le truppe verso Kirkuk dopo il referendum

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Dopo il voto referendario dello scorso 25 settembre il governo  della regione autonoma del Kurdistan aveva assunto una posizione attendista non dichiarando subito l’indipendenza e lasciando una porta aperta al dialogo con il governo centrale di Bagdad che però sembra non essere rimasta tale.

In un comunicato diramato dal governo regionale di Erbil viene denunciata una massiccia operazione militare da parte dell’esercito regolare Iracheno e delle milizie Ashd e Shaabi si sta svolgendo in queste ore nella regione con l’obiettivo dichiarato dall’intelligence Kurda di prendere possesso delle citta di Mosul e di Kirkuk e i relativi giacimenti petroliferi.

Il governo della regione autonoma del Kurdistan Iracheno chiede alla comunità internazionale di intervenire e di salvaguardare la sicurezza dell’autonomia e della popolazione Kurda che tanto ha dato nella lotta al terrorismo nell’area.

Iraqi Ministry: more than 55.000 displaced Nineveh families sheltered at refugee camps across Mosul

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The number of displaced Iraqi families from Nineveh sheltered at refugee camps across Mosul has surpassed 55.000, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement. Minister Jassem al-Jaff said Wednesday that 55.190 families (291.042 refugees) are currently sheltered at refugee camps across Mosul, where a U.S.-backed security campaign has approached a seventh month to eliminate Islamic State militants from the city. According to the minister, 120.000 refugees have so far returned to their homes in eastern and southern Nineveh. Last week, the ministry said refugees from Nineveh, Kirkuk’s town of Hawija and Salahuddin’s town of Shirqat reached 526.281 since operations were launched to clear Nineveh from IS militants in October 2016. Those include 467.210 refugees from Nineveh, 41.774 from Hawija, Kirkuk, and 17.297 from Shirqat, Salahuddin, according to the statement. “We could be facing a humanitarian catastrophe, perhaps the worst in the entire conflict”, United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande told Reuters in a telephone interview on Tuesday, commenting on the situation in Mosul.

al-Abadi: Referendum cannot be held in Kirkuk

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The Iraqi Prime Minister Hider al-Abadi said in his weekly press conference that the referendum cannot be held in Kirkuk, as the Islamic State terrorist group still occupy areas in the province and as thousands of civilians from the province are displaced. Al-Abadi called for dialogue and cooperation in order to resolve the disputed area issue. Adding that “Baghdad stands on an equal distance from all components of Kirkuk as part and parcel of the country”. Earlier this month, the provincial council of Kirkuk voted for a referendum on the province’s secession from Iraq and joining Kurdistan Region, the vote came after the council decided to raise Kurdistan flag in Kirkuk and its governmental buildings. Joint delegation from the two leading Kurdish parties of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Democratic Party had visited the capital Baghdad to discuss holding a referendum as well for addressing the disputed areas issue.

Iraqi MPs move to impeach Kirkuk governor over Kurdish flag controversy

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At least 100 Iraqi lawmakers have now signed a petition that calls for the parliament to impeach and possibly remove Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim from his post after raising the Kurdish flag used by Iraqi Kurds in the contested province, several MPs have told Rudaw. The Turkmen and Arab provincial lawmakers have threatened to bring the case to the Supreme Court in Baghdad which is the highest judiciary office in Iraq and could reverse the decision. Turkmen lawmaker Niazi Miemaruglu said they plan to collect over 200 signatures in the Iraqi parliament in condemnation of the flag decision and impeachment of the embattled governor who has vowed not to lower the flag. high-ranking Kurdish delegation visited the Iraqi capital last week partly in a bid to reduce the ethnic tensions that could derail an anticipated referendum for Kurdish independence and possible integration of Kirkuk with the Kurdistan Region.

Only 25 are Kurds out of 1,000 employed by Baghdad in Kirkuk oil fields.

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Erbil: Of the nearly 1,000 people who were recently employed by the Iraqi North Oil Company (NOC) in Kirkuk, only 25 are Kurdish, displaying Baghdad’s increasing opposition to hiring technicians with Kurdish backgrounds, according to NOC manager Yousif Shwani, a Kurd. “We have been trying for some time now to increase Kurdish share of the employments, but Baghdad is making the decisions unilaterally and has not been responsive”, Shwani said. According to Shwani, the NOC management which is based in Kirkuk has little influence over the employment process as the Iraqi central government is the main provider of salaries for over 12,000 employees that currently work for the company.

TITLE: PUK-KDP delegation met with Head of the Shia National Iraqi Alliance: a referendum doesn't directly mean Independence

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The joint delegation met with Head of the Shia National Iraqi Alliance, Ammar al-Hakim, in Baghdad during a visit to the capital to meet Iraqi officials. Following the meeting, a delegation member, Adnan Mufti, told reporters that the delegation had discussed several issues between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region with the Shia National Iraqi Alliance, and commented on talk around a possible upcoming referendum regarding the independence of Kurdistan. “A referendum doesn’t directly mean independence. It is the Kurdish will to express an opinion about it”, Mufti said. “We want to discuss with Iraq to resolve the issues and the ways are open. We think our meetings were positive and we will continue”, he added. A leader of the Shia National Iraqi Alliance, Ali Alaq, said they aren’t against the Kurdistan Region and they listened to views around activating Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution in order to maintain security in Kirkuk and other areas. The delegation visited Baghdad to meet with Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Parliament Speaker Salim alJabouri and other leaders to resolve issues between both sides as well as issues that have cropped up due to recent developments in Kirkuk.

Islamic State executes civilians southwest of Kirkuk

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Islamic State fighters have killed several civilians over collaboration with security troops, southwest of Kirkuk, a security source in the province. “The so-called head of the legislative court in al-Hawija district (55 KM southwest of Kirkuk) ordered hanging some civilians, who were detained by the militants few days ago over spying for the troops”, an anonymous source told BasNews on Thursday without giving details on the number of the victims. “The execution took place today at one of IS camps near Hawija”, the source said, adding that the bodies of the victims were not handed to their relatives. Hawija is a strategic town which has fallen into the hands of IS since mid-2014. Iraqi authorities postponed an operation to liberate the town last year, instead they moved onto central Mosul. The Iraqi government is expected to launch an offensive to retake IS-occupied areas in Kirkuk once it is done with eradicating IS from Mosul, the group’s biggest bastion in Iraq.

Kirkuk Council votes against parliament decision to lower Kurdistan flag

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Kirkuk Provincial Council members on Tuesday (April 4) voted overwhelmingly in opposition to the Iraqi Parliament’s decision to lower the Kurdistan flag over government buildings in Kirkuk. Kirkuk Council voted on Tuesday against an Iraqi Parliament decision that called on the council to remove the Kurdistan flag from flying over the governorate’s official premises. The council members also voted on holding a referendum on the issue of uniting the region with the Kurdistan Region. The Head of Kirkuk Provincial Council, Rebwar Talabani urged the Iraqi government to take the needed steps to conduct a referendum. A member of the council, Ahmed Askari, said that if the Iraqi government doesn’t implement a referendum, they will turn to the United Nations and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Within the scope of Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution, Kirkuk and certain other regions should be allowed to vote on whether to join autonomous Kurdistan, after steps have been taken to allow expelled Kurds to return, and a census has been conducted. The Kirkuk Council session came after a petition by council member, Ibrahim Khalil, collected 22 signatures backing the decision to vote on Kirkuk’s fate.

Iraqi parliament bans Kurdistan flag in Kirkuk

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Iraq’s parliament has rejected a decision to raise the Kurdish flag used by Kurdistan Region alongside the Iraqi flag on public buildings and institutions in Kirkuk city. Iraqi MPs voted in favour of displaying only the Iraqi flag on Kirkuk’s buildings on Saturday, in a session attended by 186 members of the 328-seat parliament. Arez Abdullah, a Kurdish member of the parliament said that almost all the Iraqi MPs except for the Kurds voted in favor of a motion which rejects the Tuesday’s vote by the local government in Kirkuk to raise the flag over the state institutions.

Hundreds of displaced families return to their homes south of Kirkuk.

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Head of Peshmerga Frontlines for the south of Kirkuk, Wasta Rasul, told NRT that the first stage of returning internally displaced people (IDPs) who fled the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) has begun. Rasul added that the first stage included 600 families from Qaratapa village in the south of Kirkuk. “The people from areas where conflict has ended will be returned but they should promise the Peshmerga that they will assist [the Peshmerga]”, Rasul continued.Tens of thousands of people have been displaced south of Kirkuk due to the fight against ISIS. After fleeing, the IDPs settled in Kirkuk and other areas of the Kurdistan Region.

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