Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Tripartite Kurdish Move to Isolate Barzani

Tripartite Kurdish Move to Isolate Barzani

Wednesday, 25 October, 2017 - 06:30
An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter holds his position in the mountains east of Mosul. Jim Lopez/AFP

Three parties from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region joined forces on Tuesday to isolate president of the region Masoud Barzani, accusing him of the “political and military catastrophe” in the area.

The Change Movement, the Kurdistan Islamic Group, and the Coalition for Democracy and Justice issued a joint plan on Tuesday stating five steps to overpass the crisis and correct the path of the political operation in the Kurdistan Region.

The three parties said “the Federal Government should deal with the disputed territories on the basis of the [Iraqi] Constitution to normalize the situation in these areas, and to ensure the return of displaced families to their homes.”

On Tuesday, the Kurdistan parliament voted to postpone parliamentary and presidential elections by eight months and extend the current term of parliament until elections.

Meanwhile, security sources said on Tuesday that Iraqi forces have asked the Peshmerga to hand over positions in the Faysh Khabur border area, located between Zakho and Rabia that constitute the Iraqi-Turkish-Syrian triangle.

The Iraqi forces want to secure the area to open a substitute border crossing replacing the Khabur crossing with Turkey in coordination with Ankara and Tehran against Irbil as part of the measures taken by Baghdad in response to the Sept. 25 Kurdistan Region referendum on independence.

Lieutenant Colonel Ramadan Omar, a commander at the Peshmerga intelligence, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday that armed forces from the Hashd al-Shaabi launched an attack on Peshmerga positions linked to the Rabia side of the border area, west Mosul. “Clashes erupted between the two sides following the attack. However, our forces quickly confronted the Hashd forces and inflicted them with big damages,” he said, adding that there were more than 20 casualties among the Hashd attackers.

Omar added that the Hashd units tried to launch another attack on the Peshmerga in the Makhmour area, but also failed to make any advancement.

Following the attack, the Peshmerga ministry issued a statement condemning the behavior of the Iraqi forces.

“It is clear that the Iraqi forces and Hashd al-Shaabi do not abide by any agreements reached over defining borderlines,” said the ministry.

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