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LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

A place to post daily news of Kurdistan from valid sources .

Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:48 pm

Over 90 ISIS killed as manhunt still underway in Kirkuk

Over 90 Islamic State (ISIS) militants have been killed in Kirkuk as security forces continue launching manhunts nationwide in search of dormant ISIS cells, a well-placed security official was quoted as saying Tuesday.

“As part of ongoing efforts to track down ISIS cells, Iraqi troops managed to kill over 90 ISIS militants and destroyed at least 100 terrorist hotbeds in different security operations in southwestern Kirkuk,” Commander of the 16th brigade of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) Nabil Eissa al-Beshiry told Knooz Media.

“The anti-ISIS security operations have achieved good results so far,” he said, citing the killing of five ISIS militants, including three foreigners, in the province Monday.

Beshiry stressed that Iraqi troops will continue to hunt for dormant ISIS cells nationwide to protect the country from their threat.

Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in November with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.

The Islamic State group appeared on the international scene in 2014 when it seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, declaring the establishment of an Islamic “caliphate” from Mosul city.

Despite the group’s crushing defeat at its main havens across Iraq, Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks against troops with security reports warning that the militant group still poses a threat against stability in the country.

https://www.iraqinews.com/features/over ... in-kirkuk/
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:32 pm

KDP Supporters Voting in Kirkuk is Best for Kurds

Kirkuk was taken from the Kurds on October 16. Of course, an inquiry should be launched to answer certain questions like: Why did this happen? Who was responsible for this? Would Kirkuk have fallen if the Peshmerga resisted? How long the Kurds could have resisted? Could this have been avoided?

For the time being, what is important is to establish whether the Kurds should give up on Kirkuk following the October 16 events. I am certain that the Kurds throughout the world will argue that we shouldn’t abandon Kirkuk.

The Kurds should not bog down on what happened in Kirkuk. They should continue their endeavors for Kirkuk regardless of whether or not the city is calm or invaded. They should capitalize on any opportunity wherever it might arise to work for Kirkuk.

Following the events of October 16, the authorities of Baghdad have adopted some dangerous measures to continue Arabization. If they can get away with it, they would truly start cleansing the Kurdish ethnicity and will expel every Kurd in the city.

The upcoming Iraqi parliamentary and provincial elections will be decisive for the future of Kirkuk. We shouldn’t turn our back on the question of Kirkuk under the excuse that there is a possibility that Kurds might not be able to protect or regain their previous position in Kirkuk.

Disunity among Kurds will undermine their position in their endeavors to deal with future rivalries. It is better to be part of the process even if we are in a weak position instead of boycotting.

Unity and unanimity will help the Kurds rise again. But they have never been as divided as they are now. In the past, despite all the disagreements between Kurdish parties, the issue of Kirkuk was one that gathered them all. They were all united on the question of Kirkuk. The issue of Kirkuk now has divided the Kurdish parties. Under current circumstances, we cannot afford to wait for fate to resolve the Kurdish question.

The upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections will settle the equation in Kirkuk. This time, the Kurdish voter turnout in Kirkuk will be used as a counterweight to a Kurdish presence in Kirkuk because other parties in the city objected to the Kurdish result in previous elections.

In recent elections, it was clear that the Kurds would win the majority of the votes in Kirkuk. But this year, it is difficult to predict the Kurdish voter turnout in the city with an influx of Arabs who will also vote.

The Kurdish voter turnout will be lower in this election because the events of October 16, the KDP boycott of Kirkuk elections, refusing to reopen the Erbil-Kirkuk road because a large number of Kurdish electorate live outside Kirkuk in Bnaslawa and Erbil, and a large number of Kurds still live outside Kirkuk due to the Baath party’s ethnic cleansing.

The responsibility currently falls on the shoulders of the Kurds living in Kirkuk. They can change the equation by voting. I wish all the Kurdish parties would have taken part in this election on one single list, which would have increased the voter turnout and given a better chance for people to elect the best candidate among the candidates.

Yet still currently, people will vote the party they are affiliated with. And this will cause some Kurdish votes to be lost in the process because the lists whose votes do not reach the threshold of securing a seat will lose the votes they have won — further undermining the Kurdish position.

The KDP made a huge mistake by boycotting elections in Kirkuk — worse than this would be for the KDP to ask its fans not to participate in the election. The Kurds as a whole should have boycotted the political process in Iraq in to change the current situation in Kirkuk.

Now that this was not done, it is better to encourage everyone to participate in the election. The KDP cannot rectify this mistake now, but can encourage its voters to vote for candidates running on Kurdish lists or vote for a party list close to the KDP like the Socialist Democratic Party of Kurdistan led by Mohammed Haji Mahmud, or the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU). These two parties have their own lists in Kirkuk. They are likely to win a seat in Kirkuk if KDP supporters vote for them.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/opinion/24042018
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:51 pm

Kirkuk Kurdish MPs oppose Iraqi
Provincial Elections Law amendment


Iraq’s parliament has set April 1, 2020 as the date for provincial council elections to be held across Iraq, including the disputed city of Kirkuk – a move opposed by Kurdish parties who fear Kurds displaced from the city will be stripped of their voting rights

A Monday Iraqi parliament session, attended by 217 MPs and extending to well after 10 PM, approved an amendment of Election Law of Provincial Councils, setting the election date of April 2020. The draft was recommended by the Regions and Districts Committee, aiming to "hold free, transparent and fair elections."

The amendment exempts the Kurdistan Region, however, which will conduct its own provincial elections.

Major Kurdish parties have voiced their disapproval of the decision to include Kirkuk, a Kurdish-majority city outside of the Kurdistan Region.

Viyan Sabri, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) bloc, told Rudaw: "We did not vote for the article in the [amended] law which talks about a provincial election in Kirkuk, and we boycotted the session because we believe that the administrative and security situation in Kirkuk should first be normalized."

Kirkuk was captured by Iraqi and Hashd al-Shaabi forces on October 16, 2017, following nearly three years of Kurdish control.

The KDP did not participate in the latest Iraqi May 12 parliamentary elections in Kirkuk, calling the city “occupied” and demanding the normalization of the province’s politics and security.

Though the PUK participated in those elections, it too disagreed with the amendment, with four of its six Kirkuk MPs walking out of the vote in protest.

“This [walking out of the parliament] is the stance of the PUK Kirkuk Politburo and Kirkuk leadership Council members of PUK,” claimed Taha, adding this was also the stance of “Kirkuk’s Kurds”.

Other Kurdish parties such as KDP and Gorran have supported the walkout, Rebwar Taha, a prominent PUK Kirkuk MP in the Iraqi parliament, explained to Rudaw.

"The other Kurdish factions have always said that they will leave matters of Kirkuk to Kirkuk's MPs,” adding that the PUK has given its Kirkuk MPs and leadership the liberty to act as they wish on the matter.

Taha says that the MPs mainly oppose a particular section of the amendment law, stipulating that Kirkuk’s voter list be based upon Iraqi ID and ration cards.

“This problem has existed in Kirkuk since 2005. Arabs and Turkmen have doubts about Kirkuk’s voter list. They think it requires revising through a mechanism that depends on food ration cards and IDs,” Taha explained to Rudaw English on Tuesday.

Turkmen have been particularly vocal about what they call “Kurdish demographic change,” with Turkmen Front leader Arshad Salehi claiming in mid-July that Kurds have settled as many as 600,000 other Kurds from Erbil, Sulaimani and neighboring countries in Kirkuk.

The new amendment strips many Kurds, deported from Kirkuk to Erbil and elsewhere during the notorious Baath campaign of Arabization, of their voting rights, Taha said.

Taha added that areas cut off from Kirkuk administratively, such as Kalar in the Kurdistan Region, will also be stripped of voting rights.

“According to Article 140, these are considered Kirkukis. But with this mechanism, their names will be removed from the voting list and lose their voting right,” added Taha.

In a potential solution for Kurds from Kirkuk, he insisted on the insertion of another section into the amendment that would allow Kurds cleared by the Article 140 Investigative Committee to belong to Kirkuk, to “guarantee” their right to vote.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/230720192
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:11 pm

Kakais say federal police cannot
protect them from ISIS in Kirkuk


The Islamic State (ISIS) continues to terrorize members of the Kakai religious minority in the Kirkuk province, and some feel Iraqi security forces cannot protect them.

In the village of Topzawa, one local says security forces are failing to root out ISIS’ presence.

“The Kakei village surrounding is all plain fields, and any ISIS moves
should be noticed easily,” Sarmad Rashid told Rudaw. “However, little has been done to stop them.”

The Kakais are a Kurdish ethno-religious group who live in Khanaqin, Kirkuk and Nineveh in Iraq, as well as large parts of western Iran.

Topzawa is a Kakai village in the town of Daquq in the Kirkuk province. ISIS has not claimed any of the recent attacks, but locals suspect they are behind them and say there have been six since July 21. Local resident Hussein Ateeya says mortars have been hitting the town since July 25.

“ISIS militants shelled the village with mortars, and then they conducted ground attacks,” said Ateeya.

Residents were forced to defend themselves against the attackers, according to Ateeya.

“I rushed to the roof of my house with my weapon in my hands, I heard the ISIS militants when they attacked the villages,” he said. “I started to shoot them which also led the people of the village to start shooting them as well.”
“We made the ISIS militants to withdraw and foil their attack on our village.”

The constant violence is prompting some Kakais to leave the area for safer parts of Kirkuk, according to Najib Faris, who is from the Zanqar village in Daquq.

“More than 34 families left the village,” Faris told Rudaw. “Now we are only 13 families who stayed back.”

Iraqi federal police have bases in every Kakai village in Daquq, according to Daquq Mayor Lewish Sindi.

Their presence is not without problems, though. On July 24, federal police were accused of killing nine members of the same family after mistaking them for ISIS fighters following the shelling of a local village.

Daquq is one of several areas disputed by Erbil and Baghdad. Iraqi forces retook the Kirkuk province from the Peshmerga in October 2017 during the Iraqi-Kurdish conflict after the September 2017 Kurdistan independence referendum. Since then, ISIS has regrouped in areas between Iraqi and Kurdish forces’ positions in the disputed territories.

Talks are underway between Erbil and Baghdad to resume security cooperation in the disputed territories to try and stop the ISIS resurgence.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi also launched the “Will of Victory” operation against these ISIS remnants and sleeper cells in Anbar, Mosul, and Saladin on July 7.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/290720192
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:16 pm

Iraqi court says disputed areas remain
Article 140 can be implemented


An Iraqi federal court in Baghdad argued on Tuesday that Article 140 of the Constitution that would settle the status of disputed areas like Kirkuk “remains mandatory, and all of it needs to be implemented" despite its delayed implementation

“The Supreme Federal Court found that Article 140 of the Constitution of the Republic of Iraq of the year 2005 delegated to the Executive Authority undertaking the necessary steps to complete the implementation of the necessities of Article 58 of administration of the state in the Transitional Period [TAL] in all of its sections, which is still in effect based on the rulings of Article 143 of the Constitution,” read the court's statement.

The TAL refers to May 2005 to May 2006 during the period of the Iraqi Interim Government, but before the current permanent government.

Article 58 of the Transitional Period stipulated that the Iraqi government had to address the issue of demographic change, administrative borders, and changes of ethnicity of residents of Kirkuk and other areas that have come to be known as the “disputed territories.” Property disputes were also to be resolved.

Article 143 of the Constitution stipulates the TAL law will all be abolished except for Article 58 and 53, the latter recognizing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) as an authority over the lands it governed on March 19, 2003 — the date of the US-led invasion and beginning of the end of the previous regime.

In the Constitution, Article 140 was specially written to address the issue of lands that are disputed between the KRG in Erbil and the federal government in Baghdad. The areas are in the provinces of Diyala, Kirkuk, Nineveh, and Saladin.

A number of steps were designed to resolve the issue of these territories. Normalization had to take place for people like Arabs from elsewhere who had been settled in the area under Saddam Hussein to be compensated and then returned in their original homes. Kurds and Turkmen who were expelled were to be compensated, have lands and properties returned.

The Constitution stipulated that a census and referendum be held “by a date not to exceed the 31st of December 2007” in which the people of the areas “determine the will of their citizens.”

However, this step was not implemented.

“The Supreme Federal Court found that the steps were not completed, and sections of it have not been undertaken. The goal of placing and legislating Article 140 of the constitution remains mandatory, and all of it needs to be implemented,” the court said on Tuesday

“This [delay in implementation] does not change the essence of it nor the accomplishment of its goal,” added the court.

It concluded the dates were put in place for “organizational matters and to have the relevant authorities implement it.”

“Based on this, the Supreme Federal Court decided that Article 140 of the Constitution of the Republic of Iraq remains in effect for now and until its steps are implemented and the goal for its legislating has been accomplished,” the court added.

Article 140 has been contentious since the beginning of the “new Iraq” with some Shiite MPs during the last parliament arguing to abolish the article.

Despite the article attempting to rectify many of the Arabization policies of previous governments, Kirkuk since it was taken by Iraqi federal forces from the Peshmerga in October 2017 and has witnessed further criticized Arabization policies under Baghdad-appointed, Sunni Arab Governor Rakan al-Jabouri.

In last year’s parliamentary election, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) won six seats in Kirkuk province, Turkmen and Arab parties three each, and the Christians took their minority quota seat. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the largest party in the Kurdistan Region, refused to run in what they called an “occupied” Kirkuk.

The Kurdistan Region’s authorities have never relented in their demand for Article 140 to be implemented. Kirkuk has been called the “Heart” or “Jerusalem” of Kurdistan and it holds significance within the Kurdish political discourse in addition to massive petroleum reserves.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/300720192
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:50 pm

Turkmen, Arab parties in Kirkuk reject
Iraqi court's view on disputed territories


Arab and Turkmen parties of Kirkuk on Tuesday rejected an Iraqi federal court ruling that said Article 140 should still be in effect, each arguing the article is dead

“Article 140 of the constitution is dead based on the constitution itself, which mandated that the government and parliament work with it in a specific period, which was up to December 12, 2007,” the United Arab Front in Kirkuk said in a statement.

Iraq’s Federal Court in Baghdad, mainly specializing in interpreting and ruling on the constitutional articles and tenants on Tuesday, ruled that Article 140 was still in effect and would remain so until full implementation.

The article in questions deals with settling the fate of disputed territories between the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraqi federal government

The article has proven contentious for more than a decade. It is routinely a main point of disagreement that poorly affects Erbil-Baghdad relations.

Successive Iraqi governments have been unwilling to implement the article since the establishment of the "new Iraq" and its Constitution in 2005, fearing it could return oil-rich Kirkuk and other diverse territories to Erbil, thus strengthening the argument for Kurdistan's independence.

The Arab United Front claimed the Iraqi court was under “pressure and influence” from people who want to divide the country and threaten its social fabric.

“The United Arab Front attributes to the central government, at the top — [Iraqi PM] Adil Abdul-Mahdi, full responsibility in case the conditions in Kirkuk deteriorate,” said the Arab Front.

For its part on Tuesday, the Turkmen Front that has stood firmly against Article 140 also issued its own statement, rejecting the court's opinion on the basis that the article only favors Kurds and that the article's implantation has expired.

“Despite the expiration of the due date to implement the article since December 31, 2007, we are baffled today by the Federal Court decision, in which it announced that the article is constitutionally still viable..." the Turkmen Front said in its statement.

The Turkmen Front also acknowledged the "failure in the past 14 years to find sustainable, peaceful solutions for the question of Kirkuk."

Kirkuk is “the key” to Iraq’s unity, the party said, restating concerns that it could lead to further division in the country. Article 140 is not the solution, but consensus between the people of Kirkuk, the party further argued.

“The Turkmen Front re-iterates that whether or not Article 140 is recognized as constitutional or not, does not solve the question of Kirkuk,” the party said, adding the article only favored “one component of Kirkuk”, a reference to Kurds.

Arshad Salihi, the head of the Turkmen Front, in an Al Sharqiya TV interview reiterated many of the same arguments of his party, going so far as to say that Kurds are “being deceived” by ruling authorities.

Salihi would like a 'Presidential Board' to be heavily involved in the implantation of the article, namely comprised the Iraqi presidency and its Sunni and Shiite deputies.

“Since the issue was about all components, the Presidential Board was given veto powers for the three to manage [the Article],” Salihi added.

Kurds have been adamant about the implementation of the Article 140, with the KRG making it a priority with the involvement of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

Despite the article attempting to rectify many of the Arabization policies of previous governments, Kirkuk since it was taken by Iraqi federal forces from the Peshmerga in October 2017 and has witnessed further criticized Arabization policies under Baghdad-appointed, Sunni Arab Governor Rakan al-Jabouri.

In last year’s parliamentary election, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) won six seats in Kirkuk province, Turkmen and Arab parties three each, and the Christians took their minority quota seat. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the largest party in the Kurdistan Region, refused to run in what they called an “occupied” Kirkuk.

The Kurdistan Region’s authorities have never relented in their demand for Article 140 to be implemented. Kirkuk has been called the “Heart” or “Jerusalem” of Kurdistan and it holds significance within the Kurdish political discourse in addition to massive petroleum reserves.

The PUK and KDP, despite their political differences even on Kirkuk, repeatedly have called on Baghdad to implement Article 140 according to the Iraqi constitution.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/310720192
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:24 pm

A new step for the completion of the plot on kirkuk...

Why does the Iraqi court agree to implement article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution after a 15-year delay?!

Yesterday Tuesday on 30 July 2019, the supreme federal court ruled that article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, concerning the disputed areas, stated that " the deadline for the implementation of the article is set for regulatory matters and The concerned are concerned to implement them and do not touch their essence and achieve their goal ".

Kirkuk was the city of civilization Kurdish for thousands of years (cf the book of the appearance of the Kurds in history of Dr. Jamal Rashid Ahmed) and in the time of the Ottoman Empire Kirkuk was the capital of the territory of the month of zor al-Kwrdstạny for more than 300 years and in the last years of the The capital from kirkuk to Mosul became the name of the state of Mosul, which is southern Kurdistan (see the book of the history of the accord Mosul of the researcher ạlkwrdy d)...

Since the establishment of the state of Iraq in 1923 after the elimination of the kingdom of Kurdistan 1919-1924, the King of Kurdistan, Sheikh Mahmoud Al-grandson, was exiled to India after he was injured in the battle of the strait of buzz... Kirkuk and the rest of the Kurdish regions, especially Oil to a demographic change process in order to take it away from its roots and the most important period of kirkuk was in the time of Saddam Hussein's buried, but the Iraqi democratic rule since 2003 continued on Saddam Hussein's policy as well and worse that kirkuk and for years has been under The referee Kurds but the people did nothing for the return of kirkuk the capital of Kurdistan and its heart...

Since 2003, the president of the Iraqi Republic has been and is still able to issue a decree to cancel Saddam Hussein's decrees on kirkuk and will cost him no more than his holy signature, but the president of the Iraqi Republic refused to sign.

On the abolition of the racist bloody decrees (and even more as the Iraqi President has refused to sign the execution of Saddam Hussein as well)... the first is the return of the three districts that Saddam Hussein separated from kirkuk and included them to other provinces... the three case They represent the rural areas of kirkuk which is 100 % pure Kurdish

Saddam Hussein separated them from kirkuk as he separated the spend of duhok from Mosul and made him governorate for the same reason... and that occupation Kirkuk on October 16, 2017 was to complete the process of changing the population landmarks of kirkuk and decorate it with a new of and bring new Arabs as well as the arabs brought by Saddam, the owners and the servants their place, and that kirkuk is under the control of the Arabs After the occupation of October 16th is only in order to ensure the results of any census of kirkuk in being in favor of displacement, settlement and fraud...

However, kirkuk will continue to be held, no matter how much you may be exposed to the hateful racist conspiracy and no matter how

A side of the castle of kirkuk built by the Kurdish people thousands of years ago... and at the end of the time comes those who rape them and they are still living in tents. JM
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:31 am

Arabization Campaign Continued in Kirkuk

The campaign of arabization continues in the disputed Kurdish province of Kirkuk as hundreds of Arab families have been brought to the city in past six months, a report said on Sunday

According to Kurdistan 24, citing an official document obtained by the report, around 600 Arab families were brought to Kirkuk province in the past six months, a move which could directly affect the Kurds in the upcoming provincial election scheduled for next year.

The people were brought from the provinces of Salahaddin, Anbar, Mithan, Baghdad, and other surrounding areas.

They even have the official right to participate in elections and other related processes, the report added.

After the Iraqi army and pro-Iranian Hashd al-Shaabi militias overran the disputed areas, and the Peshmerga fighters were forced to withdraw from the areas, there have been efforts to change the demography of the region.

http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/new ... PYfFSyl-SE
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:29 am

Kakai villages in Kirkuk and
controversial regions targeted again


The Kakai villages which were targeted by ISIS in 2014, are again targeted by ISIS and groups acting in their behalf recently

During the attacks carried out against Kakai villages during the last four months, 8 Kakai villages have been evacuated and one village where only elderly live, is about to be emptied completely.

Kakai Sayyid Seyid Serhat stated that the villages were targeted because they were undefended and unguarded. He said the villages were being evacuated because people could not defend themselves.

Seyid Serhat stated the following;

“Attacks against our villages in Daquq have restarted in the last four months. Due to the attacks, the Kakai villages of Ali Sera, Kobanê, Zenker, Ebu Muhammed, Awahiya Seyid Hüseyin, Awahiya Şeşekan and Awahiya Wela have been evacuated so far.

The villagers had to leave their homes because nobody protected them against attacks. The village of Topzawa is also about to be evacuated soon. Only elderly people live in this village. Our villages are evacuated because they are undefended. If it continues like this, all of our villages in the region will be evacuated completely.”

Seyid Serhad noted that Hashd al-Shaabi militia arrested Topzawa villagers Hüseyin Atiye and Xerib Selim who voiced their reactions against the attacks on the village. He added that both villagers remain in custody for a long time.
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:39 am

      Kirkuk is Kurdistani
Kurdish parties to run on joint list for provincial elections in disputed Kirkuk

All political parties in the Kurdistan Region agreed to run together on Monday in upcoming provincial elections in the disputed Kirkuk province

The parties want people to register to vote following the formation of the new alliance, they said in a statement they read at a press conference in Kirkuk on Monday.

"All the parties decided to run in the upcoming provincial elections of Kirkuk on a joint list named ‘Kirkuk is Kurdistani,’” read a statement from the Kurdish parties in Kirkuk on Monday. "We are calling on the Kuridstanians in Kirkuk to visit the voter registration offices.”

The joint electoral list’s name “Kirkuk is Kurdistani” reflects their belief that the contested area is an integral part of the Kurdish nation. The provincial elections are scheduled for April 1, 2020 in Kirkuk and other disputed territories between Erbil and Baghdad.

Though the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) did not attend today's meeting in Kirkuk, Rawand Mala Mahmood, the deputy head of the second-largest Kurdish party the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) office in Kirkuk, said theKDP also agreed to form the electoral list.

"They spoke with the KDP by phone and they also agreed to run for the elections in Kirkuk. The joint list will include them as well,” said Mahmood to the press conference.

The KDP is the only Kurdish political party that has not returned to Kirkuk since Iraqi forces retook the city from the Kurdish Peshmerga in 2017 following the Kurdistan independence referendum. The KDP also did not contest May 12 Iraqi parliamentary elections in Kirkuk, calling the city “occupied and sold out” due to the presence of Iraqi forces.

Today's agreement between the political parties in Kirkuk comes after the PUK sent a letter to Kurdish parties on Thursday asking them to prepare the mechanisms through which they could run together as one list in the upcoming elections.

Kirkuk is one of the disputed territories between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq. Kirkuk has a mix of Kurdish, Arab, Turkmen, and Christian inhabitants. Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein forcibly moved people to and from Kirkuk and the surrounding areas during his reign, further exacerbating tensions.

Kirkuk hasn’t had a provincial council elections since 2005, mainly due to its disputed nature and disagreements between Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen in the province.

In 2005, out of 41 provincial council seats, Kurds were able to win 26 seats when they ran on the joint Kurdistan Brotherhood List that included some Turkmen parties as well.

The Kurdish parties called for peace between the different ethnic and religious groups in the city with their announcement.

"The Kurdish parties are stressing the need for peaceful co-existence among all the components of the city," the statement read

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/090920191
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