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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 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:37 pm

Kirkuk’s new administration revives notorious Arabization process

The capture of Kirkuk by Iraqi and Hashd al-Shaabi forces in October has reportedly given way to the revival of the Arabization policy once designed and practiced by Saddam Hussein’s regime that settled thousands of Arab families from southern Iraq in disputed territories.

“If Kurdish MPs do not address this problem quickly, achievements of Article 140 will be in danger,” an official with Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said.

Mahdi Mubarak, director of Kirkuk Agriculture Department who fled to Erbil after the events of October 16 once oversaw the compensation of Arab families and the return of land they occupied to their rightful owners.

“The Arabs whose contracts we had cancelled for seizing peoples’ land have taken these lands back from their rightful owners and cultivated them again, especially in Dubz, Daquq and Yaychi,” Mubarak said.

According to Mubarak many Arab families who were helped to return to their provinces in southern Iraq following the 2003 regime change are now making a comeback to Kirkuk under the protection of Iraqi and Hashd al-Shaabi forces.

“Formerly settled Arabs have again cultivated some of these lands this year and expelled their Kurdish owners on them. They now own them and work with their old contracts and Baghdad is facilitating this for them,” Mubarak said.

The Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi appointed a new governor in Kirkuk immediately after taking the city last month and now, said Mubarak, the returned Arabs are asking Baghdad through the new governor to give them back ownership papers of lands taken from them through the implementation of Article 140.

These areas include the fertile farmlands of Dubz, Kirkuk, Daquq and Yaychi.

“These contracts were cancelled in accordance with section No. 4 of article 140 in 2007, and the lands were given back to their owners. They (the Arabs) are now asking the agriculture departments of these places not to recognize these decisions, even putting pressure on them in some places,” he claimed.

The committees formed to implement article 140 worked in Kirkuk for six years. They gave tens of millions of dollars in compensation to the Arabs brought to the area during the former regime’s Arabization campaign of 1975-2003.

According to figures produced by Kirkuk Agriculture Department, more than 1.2 million acres of agricultural land was returned to their owners who were mostly Kurds and some Turkmen.

“Arabization is on the rise in Dubz,” Majid Mahmud, Kirkuk provincial council member, said. “Many Arabs have returned to there, and we are monitoring the situation. They have benefitted from current conditions. The ministry of agriculture in Baghdad makes many decisions that favor settled Arabs.”

Mahmud believes that at least 300,000 acres of land is estimated to have fallen back into the hands of the Arabs.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/291120173
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:52 pm

President Masum meets KRG leaders, ex-president Barzani

Iraqi President Fuad Masum continued his Kurdistan Region tour on Wednesday, meeting with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, his deputy Qubad Talabani, and former President Masoud Barzani in Erbil.

He expressed to Rudaw his hope that Erbil and Baghdad will begin talks "in the near future."

Masum, a Kurd, said it is time for the two governments to "calm the dangerous situation" that has prevailed following Baghdad’s rejection of Kurdistan’s independence vote in September.

PM Barzani said in a tweet that he was pleased to meet with President Masum.

"We discussed efforts to resolve outstanding issues between the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi authorities and latest political developments in the region," he tweeted.

Masoud Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), told Masum that the Iraqi government should immediately end its "unjust actions" and the language of "imposition" in the disputed areas that came under Iraqi control in October, according to a statement published by KDP's media office.

"The genocide that is happening in Khurmatu must be halted. This is not acceptable and we will not stay silent," the statement quoted Masoud Barzani as saying.

It said that the two agreed that outstanding issues must be resolved through peaceful dialogue, with President Masum emphasizing such talks must take place in light of the Iraqi constitution.

Masum began his Kurdish tour in Sulaimani on Saturday where he met with senior members from his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), followed by meetings with Gorran and other parties.

He also visited Kirkuk, the disputed oil-rich province, on Monday where he said security must be the responsibility of only local police and the Iraqi army. And he urged the Kirkuk Provincial Council to elect a new governor.

Masum told Rudaw on Wednesday that he does not carry a message from anyone in the Iraqi government.

"I have my own message," Masum said, adding that he visited the Kurdistan Region in order to listen to Kurdish officials up close.

When he returns to Baghdad, he said he will not carry a message from Erbil, but will work to address the grievances and demands of each party.

Asked about ending the Iraqi-imposed ban on international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region, Masum said he had asked the Iraqi government some time ago to re-open the airports.

He was also asked about recent reports that US troops have been stationed at K-1 base outside of Kirkuk.

A Kurdish MP claimed on Wednesday that some US forces with military equipment were stationed at the base, saying the expectation is that the Americans were coordinating with Iraqi forces to form a joint operation room for Kirkuk.

Masum said he did not have knowledge of the matter.

Rudaw cannot independently verify this claim.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/291120177
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:56 pm

Kurdish ‘Liberation Army’ threatens to attack Hashd in Tuz Khurmatu

A new armed force of about 200 fighters has been formed east of Tuz Khurmatu.

They call themselves “the Liberation Army” and their objective is to fight Iraqi forces, especially the mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi, who are accused of human rights violation against Tuz Khurmatu’s Kurdish population since taking control of the city in October.

Fryad Saadullah, who said he was a regular Peshmerga fighter until the fall of Tuz Khurmatu and Kirkuk on October 16, said he and his father are the only survivors from their family of the Kurdish genocide, Anfal, committed by the Iraqi army in the 1980s. His biggest fear is that Anfal has returned to Kurdish lands.

“We are afraid that the disadvantaged people of these villages will face another wave of Anfal. We are not doing this for political gain. We are doing this to defend our honour and land,” Saadullah told Rudaw.

The Liberation Army claimed they killed eight Hashd fighters during clashes on Wednesday. One of their own fighters was injured.

Samir Latif, another fighter, told Rudaw that the clashes happened when some 30 Hashd fighters wanted to “loot and steal” from Kurdish villages east of Tuz Khurmatu. He said the Liberation Army responded to the Hashd operation, killing a number of fighters and destroying some of their military vehicles.

Rudaw cannot independently verify his claim. The Hashd al-Shaabi media office did not report any clashes in the area.

This is the second armed group to have been reported by Rudaw near Tuz Khurmatu. Locals in the area have said an unknown armed group has set itself up in the area.

Those who joined the Liberation Army, mainly Peshmerga defectors, claim their houses have been burned and bombed by the Hashd al-Shaabi and that they are wanted by the Shiite fighters. But this has not discouraged them from taking the fight to the Hashd.

They believe force is necessary in order to allow people of Tuz Khurmatu to go home.

"There is a saying: ‘Revenge will come in full force, though a bit late,’” said Nazim Haji Mansur, another fighter.

“God willing, we will return. This is not the first time we faced a setback. Each time we ended successful. The enemies of the Kurds must not celebrate that the Kurds are finished."

"Our force is not a force only to liberate Tuz Khurmatu. Kirkuk too has the same wound as Tuz Khurmatu,” Mohammed Fazel, a fighter, said.

The Liberation Army said they operate outside of the traditional Kurdish parties.

“We are a group of volunteers. I plead to everyone, every side from all four parts of Kurdistan to come and work with us. We operate outside the political parties and the government,” said Fazel.

The Liberation Army is stationed near Zinana village, east of Tuz Khurmatu. They warn that if the current situation continues, they will attack Tuz Khurmatu.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/291120179
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:16 pm

Official calls for reopening of Mosul-Duhok roads

The head of the Mosul Provincial Council describes the continued closure of roads between Mosul and the Kurdistan Region as a “major problem” that affects the lives of people in and outside the city.

Head of the Council Bashar Kiki told Rudaw that nearly half a million people from Mosul still live in camps in the Kurdistan Region and those who may wish to go home have no roads to use.

He said that he has met “With Peshmerga commanders on Nawaran and Mosul dam fronts and they promised to open it in in the coming days.”

Kiki said he has also raised the issue with Kurdish government officials.

Roads between Mosul and the Kurdistan Region were open until relations between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq soured in October following an Iraqi invasion into the disputed territories.

Kiki said that “Eighty percent of the Old Mosul is devastated,” and that open roads in and out of the city will help the reconstruction process.

Khazir, Nawaran and Mosul dam are three major roads that connect Erbil and Duhok to Mosul.

The Khazir road is open, Kiki said.

Kiki meanwhile called on the Iraqi central government to have an organized plan for clearing the city of debris and rebuild the city in order to bring life back to normal for its residents.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/301120171
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:22 pm

US Ambassador discusses Iraq’s draft budget bill with KRG PM

The US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman and the KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani discussed the outstanding issues between the Kurdish and Iraqi governments including the Kurdish share of the 2018 Iraqi draft budget bill, a statement released by the KRG on Thursday read.

Ambassador Silliman, accompanied by the US Consul General Ken Gross in Erbil, was hosted by PM Barzani and other senior Kurdish officials in Erbil including Deputy PM Qubad Talabani.

The delegation discussed the latest political and security developments in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region as well as “the draft budget bill of the federal Iraq.”

The KRG has slammed the draft budget bill presented by the Iraqi government to the Iraqi parliament which decreased the share of the KRG to 12.6 percent, down from 17 percent.

The two sides also discussed the bilateral relations between Erbil and Washington with the hope to develop them in such a way that served their mutual interests.

Both sides also agreed that Erbil and Baghdad should solve their outstanding issues through dialogue based on the Iraqi constitution.

Falah Mustafa, the KRG’s Head of Foreign Relations, also attended the meeting. He was on an official visit to the US earlier this month pushing for the United States to appoint an on ground special envoy to mediate between Iraq and the KRG. The US State Department has said that such an envoy may not be needed.

The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said Erbil and Baghdad have to agree on a metric to decide the share of the Kurdish government. PM Abadi believes that the KRG should receive its fair share based on the Region’s population. The KRG agrees to depend on the population as a basis, but argues that Erbil should receive 17 percent as has been the case since the US-invasion of Iraq in 2003 until a census is conducted.

Iraq has not held a consensus since the 1980s.

Baghdad cut the KRG’s share of the federal budget in early 2014 in response to the KRG’s plans to export oil to the international market independent of the Iraqi government.

The cash-strapped KRG lost nearly half of the oil fields it controlled since 2014 to the Iraqi forces in October when the two sides entered deadly clashes. However, It says that it is still able to pay the salaries of state employees. PM Barzani said on Monday that the moment they fail to pay the salaries, they will announce it to the Kurdish nation.

PM Abadi has said on more than one occasion that Baghdad is ready to pay the KRG state salaries after an audit has been carried out and the KRG hands over control of oil exports to the Iraqi government.

PM Barzani said they are ready to hand over the digital record of state employees collected through a biometric scheme to Baghdad. However, the KRG states the Iraqi government is not ready to receive the list, saying that Baghdad’s words are not followed by actions.

Iraq has taken a number of punitive measures against the Kurdistan Region, including the deployment of Iraqi force and their allied Iranian-backed Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi against the Kurdish forces in the disputed or Kurdistani areas such as the oil-rich Kirkuk, and also a ban on international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region. The measures were taken after the Kurdistan Region held a vote for independence that saw nearly 93 percent of the people voting to leave Iraq.

The Iraqi Federal Court cancelled the results of the Kurdish vote on November 20, but the KRG is yet to declare in clear terms whether it accepts the ruling.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/301120172
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:56 am

Aid not reaching IDPs under flight ban, says UNHCR in Kurdistan

UNHCR in Iraq says the closure of Erbil and Sulaimani airports has created a problem for displaced persons and refugees needing aid.

In a meeting with Head of the KRG Foreign Relations Department Falah Mustafa, Monica Noro, UNHCR coordinator for the Kurdistan Region, hinted at problems created for them due to the ongoing closure of the Kurdistan Region’s airports to international flights, saying the IDPs are unable to receive international aid.

Baghdad shut the two airports of the Region as part of its punitive measures in response to the September 25 independence referendum, a move which was opposed not only by Baghdad, but by the neighboring and international communities. The central government said at the time that humanitarian flights would be permitted under the flight ban.

The Kurdistan Region is hosting over 1.6 million IDPs and refugees.

In his meeting with the UN refugee official, Mustafa asked for increased assistance for persons displaced from Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu who have been out of their homes since October 16 after the Iraqi army and Shiite militias entered the region.

According to KRG figures, over 154,000 people remain displaced.

Several rights organizations reported indiscriminate attacks against Kurdish inhabitants of Tuz Khurmatu, including arson and looting.

Mustafa hinted at the KRG’s limited resources in responding to the needs of the IDPs as it suffers from a financial crunch.

The head of the foreign relations slammed Baghdad’s inaction in reaching out to the myriad of IDPs hosted by the KRG for more than three years.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/041220176
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:07 am

A third of Erbil’s markets shut amid financial woes, political crisis

A third of Erbil’s markets have closed down over the past four months due to the ongoing financial crisis and political uncertainty.

According to figures collected by MediaTech Company, which is contracted by Erbil Municipality to collect rubbish, 334 supermarkets and minimarkets have closed in Erbil over the past four months.

The company has a record of 45,589 markets and businesses in its database, including 896 markets and minimarkets and 106 supermarkets and hypermarkets in Erbil as of August. By the end of November, the numbers had dropped to 597 markets and minimarkets, and 71 supermarkets and hypermarkets.

During the boom years between 2003 and 2013, many markets were opened throughout the capital, creating job opportunities.

TeamMart opened its first supermarket in Erbil at the end of 2008, growing to more than 30 throughout Erbil and surrounding areas. Over the past three years, the company has had to close 12 branches because of the Region’s financial crisis. The latest one was in November this year.

“The financial crisis has deeply affected peoples’ ability to purchase things. Most people don’t look for brand or quality items when they go shopping nowadays. They are mostly after cheap items whose profit cannot be increased. This is why the profit our company is making has dropped dramatically,” Aram Omer, General Manager of TeamMart in the Kurdistan Region, told Rudaw.

“Sales percentage has dropped by 40 percent in all our branches. It has dropped even further in some branches. That is why we had close down 12 of our branches. If the crisis continues, we might close down 10 more,” Omer added.

“We will close branches whose sales percentage drop to nearly 50 percent and open another branch somewhere else.”

Many markets offer discounts to attract customers and compete with other businesses.

“We have special prices for some items every month in order to attract customers,” Omer explained.

Other businesses, like Hafta Bazaars and Harzan Bazaars, offered goods at near wholesale prices.

His business started off well, said Lawa Abdullah, supervisor of Haftabazaar 1 in Erbil. But sales have dropped by “70 percent because of the ongoing financial crisis and peoples’ poor financial ability, especially after the events of October 16.”

Business is better in Erbil than in other parts of the Region, however. “Our sales in Erbil branches are 15 percent higher compared to those in Sulaimani,” Abdullah said.

Basic necessities like food and hygiene products are the best sellers, he explained.

Hypermarkets have also taken a financial hit.

“We have recently moved two branches we had within New City and Mega Mall to Sulaimani and Basra,” said Hewa Shekhani, manager of City Center hypermarket in Erbil.

City Center hypermarket has branches in Sulaimani, Basra, Erbil, and some cities in Kuwait. They had a plan to open six more branches in Erbil.

“In order to adapt to the circumstances, we have deducted from our profits. We have tried to introduce goods that are in demand. In the past, we had discounts once every 15 days or a month. Nowadays, we offer discounts on some of our items every week,” Shekhani said.

(Correction: The story has been updated to correct statements from Hewa Shekhani. An earlier version stated that he had closed two branches of City Center hypermarket in Erbil. The branches have been relocated, not closed.)

http://www.rudaw.net/english/business/04122017
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:22 am

Gunmen kill five civilians, abduct four others, southwest of Kirkuk

Five civilians, including a mayor, were killed in an armed attack in southwest of Kirkuk, a security source from the province said on Tuesday.

Speaking to AlSumaria News, the source said, “a group of Islamic State armed militants attacked, in the evening, al-Khuzeifi village, in Riyad region, southwestern Kirkuk, leaving five civilians including the mayor of the village, killed.”

“Security troops cordoned off the accident scene and transferred the bodies to forensic medicine department,” the source, who preferred anonymity, added.

Moreover, four civilians were abducted by armed militants in the southwest of the province.

“Armed persons kidnapped, in the evening, three civilians from al-Nasr and al-Sharifiya villages in Riyad, southwest of Kirkuk,” another source said. “Those people have strong ties with security officers.”

“Another group of armed people abducted a civilian in al-Khuzeifi village,” the source, who asked to remain anonymous, added. “The kidnapped person is a relative of a senior army officer in Kirkuk.”

Officials in the province of Kirkuk has urged reinforcing military troops in the south and west, as the region still have IS members who escaped during liberation offensives of Hawija and mainly in houses and tunnels at remote areas in Riyad, al-Rashad and between al-Abbassi and Dibis.

The Joint Operations Command announced in October the liberation of each of Hawija, Riyad and al-Rashad. Over 1,300 members were killed during offensives to free Hawija, while over 800 members were killed during the second phase of operations.

A government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition has been fighting, since October 2016, the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul.

https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/gunm ... st-kirkuk/
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:26 am

ISIS targets Iraqi forces all over Kirkuk province

ISIS’s insurgency campaign in Kirkuk province is far from over as the terrorist group remains capable of launching limited attacks and ambushing Iraqi Security Forces via small cell operatives across the vast countryside.

In a recent attack, the terrorist group was able to burn three armored vehicles and kill its crewmen in al-Khazifi village located east of Hawija. Another IED attack in Tar al-Baghel village destroyed a Hummer vehicle operated by Iraqi government forces.

ISIS’s Amaq Agency would also add that an additional Hummer operated by the PMU militias was destroyed in an IED attack in Daquq administration south of Kirkuk. It is clear that ISIS’s insurgency is far from contained in the infamously extremist Hawija bastion.

Iraqi counterterrorism forces will have to intensify their efforts to crackdown on the plentiful terrorist cells that litter the province.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/is ... -province/
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:32 am

Iraq's Kurds ‘let down by UK’ after independence vote

KURDISTAN has been “let down” by Britain, MPs heard yesterday. Karwan Jamal Tahir, high representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq to the United Kingdom, said the international community had failed his people in the response to the September 25 independence referendum.

Giving evidence before the foreign affairs committee in Westminster, Tahir said: “We have been let down by Britain, by the international community. The referendum was a peaceful path.”

He added: “Self-determination is not a crime for any nation or people.”

The cross-party group is taking evidence about “Kurdish aspirations and the interests of the UK” in the wake of the historic ballot in the north of Iraq, which was given autonomy under Saddam Hussein.

Voters there backed the establishment of the first-ever Kurdish nation state, but the federal government in Baghdad opposed the ballot and closed regional airports after the result. Hubs including that of Kurdistani capital Erbil remain suspended, with aid agencies claiming this is stopping the flow supplies to those displaced by intense fighting in the battle to drive Daesh from the region. The KRG estimates that 1.6 million refugees and internally displaced people remain within its territory.

Anne Clwyd of Labour asked Tahir why the KRG, which is calling on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to mediate between itself and Baghdad, had rejected such an offer of help before the referendum.

Clwyd said a submission from the FCO said Masoud Barzani, former president of Kurdistan, had turned down the proposed intervention.

Tahir said the offer had been made at too late a stage, stating: “We appreciate the effort made by Britain and the Foreign Secretary and the diplomat present in Kurdistan. The offer came very late at the last two days before the referendum.”

Tahir said he had written to Theresa May in October asking her to invite leaders in Baghdad and Erbil to London for talks in a “conducive environment”.

While this did not occur, President Emmanuel Macron of France held a meeting with Kurdish figures at the Elysee Palace at the weekend, where he called on Iraq to dismantle all militias, including those endorsed by the government and backed by Iran.

KRG authorities accuse the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), which are mostly Arab Shi’ite, of abuses against Kurds in mixed regions. This has been denied by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who has vowed to punish anyone found guilty of such violations.

Describing the relationship between Erbil and Baghdad, Tahir said: “We are in a relationship crisis with the federal government of Iraq. Trust is at the weakest level. Since October 16 we’ve been calling for negotiation and dialogue and all have been rejected. We need to restore this trust.”

http://www.thenational.scot/politics/15 ... ence_vote/
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:34 pm

Iranian regime forces and Kurds continue clashes near borders

Clashes have continued between Iranian regime forces and Kurds in western Iran's Kurdish areas near the border with Turkey.

Three "Kurdish traders," locally known as kolbars, were shot by the Iranian regime in Urmia Province, the Kurdish Hawar News agency reported on Tuesday.

Additionally, Hawar reported traders were fired upon in Kaiman Bahurman village. One was wounded, while others were arrested and had their goods seized.

In Zanjan province a Kurdish trader from Suqis was "seriously wounded," according to Hawar, while also carrying goods.

The reports of violence come after Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said acccording to the country's semi-official Fars News on Monday that an Iranian border guard was killed and four others were injured in Maku, Iran, near the border with Turkey.

Turkey claimed the attack was conducted by forces from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"PKK terrorists were behind the incident in which several other people were also injured," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday, as reported by Fars and Turkey's Daily Sabah media.

Daily Sabah also blamed the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), the Iranian wing of the PKK.

"The survivors sought help from the Turkish side and the injured were airlifted to hospitals here," reported Daily Sabah. "A soldier succumbed to his wounds at the hospital. Others are recovering from their injuries."

The Turkish media agency reported the injured included "engineeers working on an irrigation project" and "soldiers were providing security."

Several armed Kurdish groups are active in the mountainous border region between Turkey, Iran, and the Kurdistan Region.

Kolbars are semi-legal porters who carry goods on their backs across the mountains and often must take dangerous routes to avoid detection by Iranian authorities.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iran/061220171
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:36 pm

Kurdistan parliament labels Tuz Khurmatu violence as ‘genocide’

The Kurdistan Region parliament has labelled acts of violence in Tuz Khurmatu by Iraqi forces and the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi as "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" in a special session that discussed the plight of tens of thousands of Kurds who have fled the city since October 16.

Deputy Speaker Jaafar Imniki told Rudaw following the session that crimes committed against Tuz Khurmatu’s Kurdish population are "genocide and ethnic-cleansing."

The city fell to Iraqi forces when they drove out the Peshmerga following Iraq’s military incursion into the disputed areas, which also include Tuz Khurmatu.

Soran Omar, head of the parliament’s Human Rights Committee that has investigated what happened in Tuz Khurmatu, told lawmakers that they documented 10 people killed at the start of events on October 16, adding that the figure is higher now since human rights violations have continued.

Dler Mawati, from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said that of those killed, seven were Peshmerga and two were civilians.

Omar also said that their findings revealed "ethnic-cleansing," a claim backed by the parliament’s committee for the disputed areas.

"What happened in Khurmatu at the hands of the Hashd al-Shaabi by burning houses, looting shops and markets of the Kurds is genocide according to international laws. They contain elements of crimes against humanity," read a report by the committee on Kurdistani areas.

Omar said that the Shiite forces killed people in Tuz Khurmatu in a "brutal manner and their bodies were mutilated."

He added that 41 people, including Peshmerga, were arrested and tortured. These people were later freed, according to the PUK’s Mawati.

Omar showed the parliament photos of people whom he said suffered torture and abuse. In total 115 people were injured and 50 houses were flattened on the first day of the Iraqi takeover.

He also showed a photo that he claimed was an Iraqi MP armed with a gun along with other Hashd fighters in Tuz Khurmatu, "looking for revenge."

He said various government buildings have been looted, including hospitals.

Speaking to Rudaw on October 21, five days after the fall of Tuz Khurmatu, Iraq’s minister for the displaced Darbaz Mohammed said the city was "out of control" and it was "unsafe" for the Kurdish population to go back. He confirmed that acts of revenge killing had taken place.

Rights organizations, including Amnesty International, also recorded acts of killing and looting in the city.

A Rudaw field investigation November 26 found that thousands of houses in Kurdish neighbourhoods had been looted, burned and bombed, or appear to have been appropriated by the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi.

Some documentation of what has taken place in Tuz Khurmatu was displayed at an exhibit in the parliament building. Some foreign delegates visited the exhibition.

The local government of Tuz Khurmatu, represented by its mayor Shalal Abdullah Ahmad and a member of the Khurmatu City Council, submitted a list of demands to the parliament.

They called for acts of violence be stopped, a fact-finding committee formed to investigate abuses, an end to changes of government personnel that have so far stripped several Kurdish officials of their roles, and the deployment of either an international or a joint Iraqi-Kurdish peacekeeping force that excludes the Hashd.

Their statement also demanded that "efforts be made for the recognition of the atrocities of October 16 as war crimes and genocide and those who committed such atrocities be tried by an international court."

The committee on the Kurdistani areas demanded the United Nations send an envoy to investigate reported cases of violence.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) noted that the people of Kurdistan, especially in the disputed areas had suffered genocide and Arabization under the former Baathist regime. The events in Tuz Khurmatu prove that there is an "ongoing genocide" against the Kurdish people, the party said.

"Only the name has changed, from Baath to Hashd al-Shaabi," said KDP MP Dr. Mohammed Ali.

He said their figures, obtained from various governmental and non-government parties, show that about 100,000 people have fled Tuz Khurmatu, 1,102 houses and 12 buildings of Kurdish parties have been destroyed, and five radio stations and one TV station were looted.

The KDP MP also claimed that a girl was raped by eight Hashd fighters in front of her family. Minister Darbaza Mohammed had told Rudaw on October 21 that claims of sexual abuse were mere rumours.

In Sulaimani on Wednesday, Kurdish parties that used to have presence in Tuz Khurmatu met to discuss the situation in their hometown.

They discussed the deployment of a "neutral" force to the area, compensation for those affected by the wave of violence, and some ethnic-based changes to government positions, the PUK’s Mala Shukir told Rudaw.

People displaced from Tuz Khurmatu have held protests – one in Kalar and one in Erbil – to demand an end to the violence.

The office of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday issued an order to the Iraqi ministry of the displaced to start assisting Tuz Khurmatu residents to return to their homes in coordination with the federal police and Hashd al-Shaabi.

The Kurdistan Region parliament is expected to prepare a full report on the events in Tuz Khurmatu for distribution to rights organizations, the international community, and the public.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/071220171
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:11 pm

Human Rights Education training for teachers in Kurdistan

Enhancing human rights education for students in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq was the focus of a three-day training course for 24 secondary school teachers in Dohuk.

The training course, held 3-5 December, was the fourth in a series of training courses on human rights education organized by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Human Rights Office (HRO). The project is in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Financial support was provided by the Government of Flanders.

The training sessions focused on developing teachers’ expertise with regard to human rights concepts and terminologies, including women’s and children’s rights, as well as methods of teaching and preparing lessons on human rights values and principles. The participants, who came from all over Dohuk Governorate and included eight women, practiced developing and delivering lessons for each other on these topics.

Mr. Omar Ali Taha, Director-General of the General Directorate of Education for Dohuk Governorate, noted with thanks that the training will help make students better informed on human rights values and principles.

HRO plans to continue the training program with an advanced “training of trainers” in the near future.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email: ghattass@un.orgghattass@un.org

or the UNAMI Public Information Office: unami-information@un.orgunami-information@un.org

https://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/human ... raq-enarku
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:16 pm

Kurdistan Region announces e-governance to fight corruption

The Kurdistan Region announced on Thursday (December 7) implementation of an e-governance administration system to accelerate the government’s work and to prevent corruption.

Speaking during a conference of E-Governance and Public Service Center Project in Erbil, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Interior Minister, Karim Sinjari, said the change from the previous governance administration system, in which institutions were paper based, to e-governance aims at providing high quality services to people.

E-governance refers to the use of electronics, specifically computer and internet networks for all government information management.

“E-governance will accelerate the government’s tasks and make them transparent, and it also prevents corruption,” Sinjari added.

The new system will first start in the ministry of interior, he noted.

“The ministry of interior will stand by and support the implementation of the project during the next four years. We will make serious efforts to complete it successfully with the help of UNDP and international partners,” he said.

NRT reporter Renas Ali said UNDP has provided $200,000 USD to the ministry of interior to implement the project.

The Kurdish government has been using paper-based system in the region, slowing down work and causing challenges for clients visiting the institutions when they need paperwork completed.

KRG introduced a new electronic payment system last October that would be used to modernize the region’s current method of distributing wages to government employees.

The system was set up to address the issue of “ghost employees,” to keep track of the names and spending on the KRG’s payroll. According to KRG’s statistics in the new biometric system, the number of Kurdish employees is now 1,249,481, down from 1.4 million.

http://www.nrttv.com/en/Details.aspx?Jimare=17818
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK/KURDISTAN

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:20 pm

Drops in temperatures top Kurdistan’s peaks with snow

A cold snap has swept across the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey and Iran, leading to plummeting temperatures, blocked roads, and school closures.

Fazil Ibrahim, the head of the Kurdistan Region’s Earthquake and Meteorological Department, told Rudaw that due to the drop in temperature, snow has shrouded many mountainous areas of the Kurdistan Region.

The highest level of snowfall, 16 centimeters, was recorded in the Kurdistan Region’s town of Haji Omaran which borders Iran followed by Shirwan Mazin (also in Erbil Province), Amedi, Akre and Simelan in Duhok province.

Concerning rain in the region’s wet season, Sulaimani has so far the highest accumulations through 2017.

Around 11.1 cm of rain has fallen in Sulaimani, 6.4 cm in Halabja. 5.4 cm in Erbil, 4.6 cm in Duhok and 1 cm in Kirkuk, he explained.

The cold wave has also hit many of the mountainous eastern or Iranian Kurdistan areas, particularly in Urmia, Kermanshah and Sina.

There, some areas already have seen up to 50 centimeters of snow this season.

The province of Kermanshah was hardest hit by a devastating earthquake last month, so this year’s harsh cold has compounded their struggles in makeshift camps. They are calling on the government for assistance as the temperature continues to plummet.

And in southeastern Turkey, or North Kurdistan, heavy snowfalls and rains have blocked the roads of 618 villages, according to Ibrahim.

Snowfall has also shut down schools in many areas there, including in Badlis and its surrounding villages.

While treacherous and cumbersome, the snows of winter give way to the meltwaters of spring which sustain millions in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region through the dry and arid summer season.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/081220171
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