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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

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:32 am

Najmaldin Karim: I am the legitimate governor of Kirkuk

Najmaldin Karim, former Kirkuk governor, says he is still the legitimate governor of Kirkuk according to all Iraqi laws.

“According to all the laws, letters sent to Kirkuk by the Iraqi government itself stating that laws enforced in other provinces of Iraq do not apply in Kirkuk, and the final decree of the Kirkuk Provincial Council of Kirkuk – I am the legitimate governor of Kirkuk,” said Karim in an interview with Rudaw TV on Wednesday night.

Asked about the Iraqi Federal Court’s response to his appeal regarding his removal from the post, Karim said “if there is a just court, if there is a court that is not controlled by politics, it would decide that we were right.”

Iraqi law commits Kirkuk administration to work according to the Bremer Law, according to which “only the Provincial Council is authorized to remove or appoint a governor,” he stated.

The Iraqi parliament voted in September to remove Karim from his post after the governor was a vocal supporter of Kurdistan – flying the Kurdistan flag in the disputed province and promoting the independence referendum.

Karim appealed the parliament’s decision in the Federal Court, which dismissed the case on Tuesday, saying the matter is administrative, not legislative.

“The court rejected Najmaldin Karim’s appeal and stressed that the decision was administrative not legislative, therefore the Iraqi Federal Court cannot review it,” court spokesperson Ayas Samok said in an announcement.

After the takeover of Kirkuk by Iraqi forces, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi replaced Karim with an Arab, Rakan al-Jabouri.

Karim’s removal was also approved by Fuad Masum, president of Iraq. Masum and Karim are both members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) politburo.

“I do not know why he [Masum] was so eager to sign it. You know what, even if the president does not sign anything, the ruling is still issued without him,” Karim said.

Iraq’s presidency is largely a ceremonial role.

Actually, the reason Iraq has a Kurdish president is to have a buffer between the Shia and the Sunni, who would be fighting each other for overall control.

We are all aware that the system has failed to work and that most of the Sunni were forced out of government as the Shia attacked the Sunni, torturing, raping and slaughtering many THOUSANDS of innocent Sunni Arabs. The main reason so many Sunni supported ISIS


Karim added that his party, PUK, did not support his removal.

Karim also spoke of his longtime party member and friend Kosrat Rasul Ali. The top PUK leader was hospitalized this week in Sulaimani before flying to Germany for medical treatment.

“I went to Sulaimani to check up on his health a day after he underwent surgery. It was true he was unable to speak, but the day after he was quite better and able to speak and became more conscious,” said Karim, a medical doctor himself.

He praised the care team supervising Rasul saying “they did an excellent job to improve the health of Rasul.”

Rasul, 64, became the party's acting head after the death of PUK founder Jalal Talabani on October 3. A day before his illness, Rasul attended a memorial for Talabani in Sulaimani.

He was Vice President of the Kurdistan Region until late October.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/16112017
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:45 am

Bremer Law

Conceived by an American named Paul Bremer :

Bremer was appointed by President Bush as Presidential Envoy to Iraq on May 9, 2003. His appointment declared him subject to the "authority, direction and control" of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Bremer arrived in Iraq in May 2003 On May 11 he replaced Lt. General Jay Garner as Director of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. In June, the Office was transformed into the Coalition Provisional Authority, and Bremer became the country's chief executive authority.

As the holder of the "most powerful foreign post held by any American since Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Japan", he compared himself to MacArthur as well as General Lucius Clay, who was in charge of the American zone in Germany following its defeat in World War II.

As the top civilian administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Bremer was permitted to rule by decree. Among his first and most notable decrees were Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 1, which banned the Ba'ath party in all forms[14] and Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 2 dismantled the Iraqi Army.

On July 13, 2003, Bremer approved the creation of an Iraqi Interim Governing Council with the stated mission of "ensuring that the Iraqi people's interests are represented". The council members were chosen by Bremer from among groups and individuals which had supported the American invasion of Iraq. Bremer retained veto power over the council's proposals. The council was authorized to select a limited number of delegates to key Coalition Provisional Authority committees, like the Program Review Board.

Bremer also empowered the CPA to develop and implement the Iraqi constitution. The constitution, however, turned into a controversial subject, when its first draft submitted by the CPA suggested banning political parties opposed to the U.S. occupation from participating in elections; privatizing much of Iraq's industries and natural resources; and allowing the unelected Iraqi Interim Governing Council to sign a binding Status of Forces Agreement between Iraq and the United States.

On March 1, 2004, after several hours of negotiations, the Iraqi Interim Governing Council resolved the disagreements the council members had with clauses in the Constitution. A formal signing ceremony was scheduled for March 5, 2004. As the guests waited and the orchestra played, the signing was canceled due to mass demonstrations among Iraq's population. The official signing finally took place for an interim constitution, to be revised or replaced by a second constitution after Iraqi elections on March 8, 2004.

On June 28, 2004, at 10:26 am local time, the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority formally transferred limited sovereignty of Iraqi territory to the Iraqi Interim Government, two days ahead of schedule. Bremer departed from the country on the same day. In his farewell speech broadcast on Iraqi television, he said, "I leave Iraq gladdened by what has been accomplished and confident that your future is full of hope. A piece of my heart will always remain here in the beautiful land between the two rivers, with its fertile valleys, its majestic mountains and its wonderful people".

Bremer's office was a division of the U.S. Department of Defense, and as Administrator he reported directly to the United States Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States. His senior adviser Dan Senor served as coalition spokesman, working with military spokesman Mark Kimmitt.

Bremer's role as the head of the CPA is notable for being the subject of much criticism. Large sums of money have been reported to have gone missing under Bremer's leadership. Bremer's attempts at privatizing much of Iraq's infrastructure and mineral wealth were also highly criticized and the decision, apparently formulated in the office of the Secretary of Defense, to disband the Iraqi Army is widely credited for fueling the Iraqi insurgency against the American occupation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Brem ... nstruction

As much about Bremer's has been unpopular, surely it is time for new laws to be implemented - laws which allow for Kurdish Independence :D
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:55 am

Najmaldin Karim

Forget about him - he is only interested in power

I do NOT remember him standing out in the street trying to stop the Iraqi invasion X(

Fuad Masum

Looks to me like a demented 90 year old having a last fling at the expense of Kurdistan X(
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:31 am

Clouds form over Kurdistan as experts forecast more fighting with Baghdad
By Paul Iddon freelance journalist based in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan Twitter: @pauliddon

Analysts on Iraq have told The New Arab they anticipate more clashes between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the foreseeable future as summit talks have stalled.

Last month, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) fighters attacked Kurdish Peshmerga forces on the autonomous region's borders shortly after their takeover of Kirkuk, following a successful US-brokered ceasefire.

"I think we have one more potential lunge forward by ISF to the green line [the official recognized border between Iraq and the Kurdistan Region], either negotiated or unilateral," Michael Knights, an Iraq expert and the Lafer fellow at The Washington Institute, told The New Arab.

Knights said he believes this will happen upon the conclusion of Iraq's operations against the remnants of Islamic State (IS) in Anbar province - in other words - "soon."

The latest round of clashes by the ISF and PMF on the green line saw the Peshmerga successfully afflict casualties and damages on the attacking Iraqis, most notably their usage of anti-tank missiles to destroy an American-made M1 Abrams main battle tank and several Humvees at the Altun Kupri border province on October 20.

Experts remain unclear however if Iraq's intention is to seize territory in Iraqi Kurdistan proper, hence the internationally and constitutionally-recognized autonomous region under the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) behind the green line.

The leader of the PMF's Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militia claimed his forces "will enter Erbil, but for now we are waiting for the diplomatic solution."

Voice of America broadcaster Rikar Hussein reported that one reason the Americans pushed for a ceasefire between the two warring allies of the US was a PMF plan to attack Erbil.

Sources told Hussein in late October the PMF were sending heavy weaponry towards the border that were then detected by US satellites. The US State Department, according to these sources, then "ordered" Abadi not to proceed and initiate a ceasefire.

Joel Wing, the Iraq analyst who runs the Musings of Iraq blog, also believes, like Knights, that more clashes are on the way.

"Right now Erbil and Baghdad are in a holding pattern and talks are stalled," Wing told The New Arab.

"Some think they will re-start after some lawsuits are settled over the Kurdish referendum."

"If things don't move forward in the near term there is a chance that Prime Minister Abadi will decide to press his advantage and attempt to seize the Fish Khabur border crossing, where the Kurdish pipeline crosses over into Turkey.

"Or he'll take an oil field in western Nineveh Province, which the Kurds also run, in an attempt to impose government control over the KRG's economy."

This comes as the Kurds "are at a real disadvantage," Wing added.

Nevertheless, Erbil "is unwilling to accept many of Baghdad's demands".

"They feel that they are humiliating and an infringement upon their autonomy, like cutting their civil servants and Peshmerga. Also there are factions of the KDP [Kurdistan Democratic Party] who are reportedly unwilling to make any compromises."

Either way, Wing says, the Kurds "have no real leverage other than appealing to the US for help, which hasn't really been coming."

"They are going to have to give in on many of Abadi's demands."

For Wing, even the recent removal of an important line from the draft of the annual defense bill before the September 25 Kurdish independence referendum wasn't a strong indication the US will take a more pro-KRG position.

This line suggested that US support for the Kurds should be "contingent upon KRG participation in the government of a unified Iraq". There is also clear congressional discomfort with these recent ISF/PMF attacks on the Kurds.

"Congress is trying to show commitment to the Kurdistan region but I think it is a bit of an empty gesture because the executive branch tends to execute security cooperation how it wants," Knights said.

"They are unlikely to want to cut off security cooperation with Iraq based on the current behaviors of the PMF," he added.

Wing also came to essentially the same conclusion: "Removing the language that the Kurds have to work within a unified Iraq is more symbolic than anything and will unlikely affect how US aid is distributed and used in Iraq," he said.

"Despite the long history the US has had with Iraq there are very few lawmakers that actually know what's going on - and they are motivated by headline grabbing events like the recent confrontation between Baghdad and Erbil."

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/indep ... y-analysts
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:01 pm

No signs yet Baghdad willing to enter into talks with Erbil: official

Baghdad has not yet indicated it is willing to enter negotiations with the Kurdistan Region and may not do so any time soon, a senior Kurdish official with knowledge of diplomatic traffic to and from the Kurdistan Region said on Friday.

Fuad Hussein, chief of staff to the Kurdistan Region presidency, said that the Region faces various and divided rulers in the Iraqi government, something that adds to the complexity of any talks between Erbil and Baghdad following the September vote for independence and the subsequent military standoff.

“There is no single Baghdad,” Hussein told the Voice of America.

He said Kurdish parties have to work out their own differences and prepare for negotiations with the Iraqi government.

Erbil has offered to freeze the outcome of the referendum in exchange for talks with Baghdad in light of the Iraqi constitution and has stated that it respects a ruling from the Iraqi Federal Court that concluded Iraq must remain united.

Baghdad has so far refused to publicly commit to such talks. The Saudi-owned Sharq Awsat, however, reported on Thursday that the talks have begun “in secret.”

The newspaper also cited an anonymous Iraqi source close to the Iraqi government that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi wants to see Kurdistan’s former President Masoud Barzani announce that he, too, commits to the Iraqi court ruling.

On the talks, It cited a Shiite MP from the ruling State of Law Coalition saying that Abadi has tasked a committee headed by a senior politician to start preliminary negotiations.

Renas Jano, a Kurdish MP, told Rudaw on Friday that the issue is not about “secrecy,” but that negotiation conducted away from the media will have better results.

He complained that Iraq raises its demands day after day.

Regarding the visit by the US Presidential Envoy to the war against ISIS Brett McGurk, who visited Kurdistan this week and met with Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and other officials, Fuad Hussein said he does not know whether the American tried to “pressure” Baghdad into accepting Erbil’s offer for talks.

He said that McGurk told the Kurdish leadership that the United States supports the Kurdistan Region and urges talks between the two sides within the framework of the Iraqi constitution. He said he carried a similar message to Abadi when the two met on Wednesday.

He added that international actors, like the United Nations, have also pushed for talks.

Baghdad, he said, is the hub for foreign influence from different sides and it is “Baghdad that finally takes decisions.”

However, he said, Baghdad is internally divided and is not sending the right messages to Erbil.

“There is no one single Baghdad. There are many rulers in Baghdad. But what we hear from the Iraqi government, and the office of the Iraqi prime minister, they say they want to deal with the [Kurdistan] Region within the framework of the [Iraqi] constitution. But as of yet, the indications coming out of Baghdad does not indicate that they are prepared to enter negotiations at the current time.”

He said it may take some time before Baghdad decides to take the path of dialogue.

Letting their problems linger “is not good” for either side, Hussein warned, as this may further “complicate” their relations.

He said Iraq is heading towards general elections in May 2018 and this may hinder talks as Iraqi parties feel they must show voters they have taken a strong stance against Erbil.

He warned though that Iraq should not think the Kurds are “weaker” and Baghdad is in a better situation. Iraq too has its own problems, he said.

He finally suggested that the Kurdish faction in the Iraqi parliament may take part in the upcoming Iraqi elections and enter into a “coalition” with other Iraqi parties and alliances.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/181120172
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:16 pm

Op-Ed: McGurk’s Kurdish Policy
By David Romano

Normally one would write a column such as this about “America’s Kurdish Policy,” or “President Trump’s Kurdish strategy,” or “Washington’s approach towards the Kurds.” Based on this columnist’s recent discussions with officials in Washington, however, it seems much for fitting to write about “McGurk’s Kurdish Policy.”

Since coming into office last year, President Trump has left the previous Obama administration’s Iraq and Kurdish strategy on auto-pilot. Although there was a brief policy brainstorming session last year regarding anti-ISIS efforts in Syria and the possibility of dropping the Kurdish-centric strategy there (presumably due in part to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s desire to help his Turkish paymasters), the Trump administration ended up coming right back to the Obama administration’s strategy. A similar policy review about “containing Iran” ended similarly, settling on the hope of cultivating “moderates” and “Iraqi nationalists” in Baghdad to stymie Tehran.

In the case of the Kurds, however, even this brief review of policy never occurred. Normally the announcement in the Spring of 2017 of intentions to hold a referendum on Kurdistan’s independence would have garnered a reaction from the U.S. presidency to review policy and various options. But Mr. Trump was possibly too occupied with the various pressing matters he tweets about incessantly to give much thought to the issue.

As a result, the U.S. attitude towards the referendum appeared indifferent until the very last moment. When U.S. diplomats from June until September 2017 did no more than blandly repeat the old mantra that they support both Kurdish rights and a unified, democratic and federal Iraq, the Kurds took this as an indicator that the Americans understood that politics in Baghdad lay beyond redemption and would, when the moment came, support the Iraqi Kurds’ justifiable aspirations.

Kurdistan’s leadership in Erbil could not imagine that the Americans would stand by passively as Iranian-controlled Shiite militias and the Iraqi army turned their American-supplied weaponry against America’s most faithful ally in the Muslim world. In cultures that value honor, courage and strength, one does not let an enemy throttle an ally. Especially given President Trump’s bellicose rhetoric about “containing Iran” and putting a stop to its nefarious activities, Kurds in Iraq believed they could at least count on the Americans to try and block Iranian-orchestrated military moves against them.

Trump’s rhetoric against Iran appears to have been little more than words, however. As his administration moves to let Iran out of the nuclear deal – even without a viable means of re-imposing international sanctions on them – it does little else to constrain the mullahs. Rather, hardliners in Tehran appear emboldened by the apparent lack of an American plan to contain Iran, confront them or even support American allies against Iran (something the Saudis have also felt).

The indifference and even inattention coming from the White House instead left America’s Iraq and Kurdish policies on auto-pilot. In practice this means that Brett McGurk, the Obama administration’s “Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL” and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran, is largely left to his own devices.

Only two weeks before the September 25th referendum, Mr. McGurk and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson began a concerted campaign to oppose it and convince the Kurds to postpone it. The first serious offer from McGurk and Tillerson to provide an alternative to the referendum came on September 23rd – just two days before the referendum and considerably too late. After September 25th, McGurk was apparently displeased that the Kurds dared to doubt and refuse American promises.

This was in stark contrast to 2003 when the Peshmerga vacated Kirkuk in return for a promise to hold a referendum there, or in 2010 when Masoud Barzani agreed to support a new Maliki government in return for more American and Baghdadi promises, or in 2014 when the Kurds agreed to postpone a referendum on independence until after ISIS was defeated and in order to give the Abadi government a chance at power sharing.

He vented his pique at the Kurds for daring to hold a referendum by staying silent as his much more competent rival, Qassem Soleimani, unraveled the Kurdish front and engineered Baghdad’s forceful takeover of Kirkuk and other disputed territories. McGurk even helpfully sent out a series of tweets at the time that nothing was wrong, and that the Iraqi and Shiite militia troop movements were just normal redeployments to other anti-ISIL theaters.

McGurk’s “Kurdish policy,” in short, goes no further than using the Kurds to further an American policy of supporting strong leaders in Baghdad. One needs only recall that until 1990 Washington had no problem with Saddam Hussein. During Nuri al-Maliki’s nine years as prime minister, Mr. McGurk remained one of his most ardent backers right until the end. Now Mr. Abadi is McGurk’s man in Baghdad (as well as America’s, at least until a sensible policy review occurs). Will Prime Minister Abadi turn out to be the unicorn that Mr. McGurk and the U.S. State Department have been looking for? Will he prove himself a pro-American Shiite Iraqi nationalist moderate who will block Iranian aspirations in the region?

Somehow this columnist does not think so. As Peter Galbraith recently explained in the New York Review of Books,

    Dawa, the party of Maliki and Abadi, was supported by Iran for decades. One of its coalition partners, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, was founded in Tehran in 1982. Neither Iraq nor Iran has hidden Iran’s involvement in the country. Abadi’s spokesman confirmed Qassem Soleimani’s presence in Iraq, explaining that Iraq had both American and Iranian military advisers. Iran’s army chief of staff, Mohamadi Gulpaigani, was even more direct. According to the Fars news agency, he told a Tehran gathering that “the instructions of the Supreme Leader and the sacrifices of General Soleimani spoiled their plots [US and Israel to divide Iraq], and Kirkuk was liberated.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/opinion/18112017
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:04 am

Kurdish Islamic party calls for establishment of transitional government

The Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) calls for the establishment of a transitional government in order to fulfill "national unity" and reform in the security and livelihood of the people of Kurdistan Region.

The KIU in its leadership meeting on Saturday "found the formation of a transitional government essential to fulfill national unity and quick reforms in the subjects of the livelihood and security of people."

After the fall of Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu to the Iraqi army and Iran backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias, the Change Movement (Gorran) and the Coalition for Democracy and Justice led by Barham Salim, a former senior member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), called for the dissolution of the current cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government and its replacement with an interim government, something rejected by both the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and its strategic ally the PUK, the two ruling parties.

The KIU also described sending a joint delegation made up of Kurdish parties from the transitional government to begin talks with the Iraqi government as "timely."

It also stressed the need to secure the Kurdistan Region's financial entitlements in the Iraqi budget bill.

Baghdad’s draft 2018 budget law proposes cutting the Region’s share by a quarter – allocating 12.67 percent to the KRG, down from 17 percent.

The KIU leadership threw its support behind the Kurdistan parliament in its work on the lawmaking in order to make "grassroots reforms" in the Region.

The party also put forward its post-October 16 roadmap which was the reconsidering of the KIU's political discourse to meet the current situation and future scenarios of the Kurdistan Region.

KIU is the largest Kurdish Islamic party which possesses 10 seats in the Kurdistan parliament voiced the significance of "frank negotiations" between the Kurdistan political parties in order to put an end to the existing "crisis" in the Region.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/181120176

Oh great the, the Goran are trying to gain power for themselves (as per usual) and a bunch of Muslims want more influence (last thing Kurds need is for Muslims to gain a stronger power base)
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:40 pm

Iraqi Federal Court rules referendum 'unconstitutional', cancels its results

The Iraqi Federal Court ruled on Monday that the Kurdish independence referendum which was held on September 25 is "unconstitutional" and therefore its results are null and void, Iraqi state TV reported.

The Iraqi prime minister’s office in an announcement welcomed the ruling saying “the Iraqi Federal Court’s ruling is supporting the Iraqi government’s steps to implement the state authorities and not deal with the referendum process.”

Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani talked to reporters shortly after the Federal Court’s ruling saying it had been made “unilaterally and without the presence of Kurdish representatives.”

Iraq's Federal Court ruled earlier on November 6 that no article in the constitution allows partition or the separation of any part of the country, with the Iraqi prime minister calling on Erbil to make its position on the ruling clear.

On November 14 Erbil stated that it respected the ruling, and called for negotiations with Baghdad on the basis of the Iraqi constitution.

Erbil has so far offered to freeze the results of the vote in exchange for open dialogue with Baghdad.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/201120171
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:50 am

Kirkuk Provincial Council chief postpones first meeting since crisis

The first scheduled meeting of Kirkuk Provincial Council since the crisis has been postponed due to a disagreement over location.

“I have decided to postpone the meeting to a later date,” when the parties can agree on a location, said acting council head Rebwar Talabani in a press conference on Monday.

It is within his powers to choose a date and a place.

The meeting was scheduled to take place on Tuesday – the first time the council would convene since Iraqi forces took over Kirkuk on October 16.

Talabani criticized some council members for playing party politics amid a humanitarian crisis with more than 100,000 people displaced and said, “The situation of Kirkuk is far more important than a location.”

Holding a council meeting outside of the provincial capital is not unprecedented he said, noting that the governments of Nineveh and Anbar did so while the provinces were under ISIS control.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) maintains an office in Kirkuk city. The party considers the province one of its strongholds.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has left its offices in Kirkuk and their party buildings are now under the control of the Iraqi army and other militia forces.

Other parties from the Kurdistan Region, like Gorran and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal), still have a presence in Kirkuk, but none are allowed to raise the Kurdistan flag. X(

Talabani said that he is ready to head a council meeting in any location, but stressed that if they are to meet in Kirkuk, all council members must feel safe. Some council members are “under threat” in Kirkuk where they are not welcomed by Iraqi forces, he said.

He accused the KDP and PUK of prioritizing their political power plays over the well-being of the thousands still displaced from the province. He urged all parties to act in the best interests of the people.

The Iraqi army is currently in control of Kirkuk city, Talabani said, explaining he is in contact with Kirkuk’s police chief though he himself has stayed in Erbil since Kirkuk was taken over.

Talabani objects to the presence of any force in the city, apart from the local forces and the Federal Police. Any others acting in the city are “illegal and unconstitutional,” he said.

The purpose of the meeting was to try to return some normalcy to the province and prepare a series of steps to demand from the Iraqi government, including facilitating the return of more than 170,000 people who have been displaced from their homes, providing compensation, preventing kidnappings, and ending alleged cases of Arabization that have occurred in the city in the past month. (Shades of Saddam)

Other officials have also expressed concern over demographic changes in the province.

The government office responsible for implementing Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution that is supposed to resolve the disputed areas, issued a warning on Sunday that demographic changes may happen in Kirkuk as a result of the Iraqi takeover.

Kaka Rash Sidiq, head of the office, said in Kirkuk that he was compelled to issue the warning because of fear of activities of armed groups who, he said, have no legal backing.

"We have sensed a dangerous feeling since a large force was deployed to Kirkuk province, operating under various names and uniforms. They raid houses without approval from courts and search these places under the name of searching for weapons and ammunition. People have been insulted, which is not acceptable," he said.

Sidiq called for all armed groups and forces to leave Kirkuk except for the local forces and federal police.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/201120173
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:02 am

Qubad Talabani warns of existential threat facing PUK, Kurdistan

An ordinary congress that must be held no later than January is necessary to break foreign and domestic threats that are targeting the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and may have direct results on the very survival of the Kurdistan Region, said Qubad Talabani, the younger son of the party’s late founder Jalal Talabani.

Qubad Talabani is also deputy prime minister of the Kurdistan Region.

His party is facing various problems. Its founder Jalal Talabani passed away in October and its acting head, Kosrat Rasul, was flown to Germany this month to receive emergency medical treatment. And the PUK stronghold of Kirkuk, dubbed the ‘Jerusalem of Kurdistan’ by Jalal Talabani, was lost to Iraqi forces. X(

“It is no secret that our PUK is going through a hard time. It faces threats from within the party and from foreign and domestic bodies,” Qubad Talabani said in a published statement. PUK members are taking a good look at the party – criticizing it and looking for some light, he said.

The PUK is also receiving “enormous criticism” from the people of Kurdistan in general, including those in the disputed areas, he said.

Some PUK elements, especially within Qubad Talabani’s family, have been accused of handing over Kirkuk to the Iraqi forces, something they deny. Qubad Talabani himself has not been a target for this charge.

Qubad Talabani said these problems arose after the illness and death of Jalal Talabani. Without him, both Iraq and the Kurdistan Region are driving in a dangerous direction, the son warned.

The PUK, one of the two main Kurdistan Region parties, is essential for the Region, he said. “Without a cohesive, strong and united PUK, Kurdistan may not be able to survive,” the current threats.

Some suggestions from party members, including forming an interim leadership, are simply “whitewashing” and not seriously addressing the problems, he said.

The PUK leadership voted to elect an 11-member body to run the party’s affairs until it can hold a congress early next year. The decision has not yet been made final.

Talabani said for the PUK to remain cohesive and strong and to ensure that “the territorial integrity of Kurdistan is protected,” the PUK must hold its ordinary congress and give new people a chance to come forward with modern ideas and strengthen the party.

The congress must not be a chance to take revenge and conduct a “coup d'etat”, the young leader said.

He cautioned against rushing decisions heading into the congress, saying that the party that would emerge from such a harried process would be weakened, catering to the interests of some individuals only.

“In this congress, we should ask ourselves, what is the PUK for?” Talabani asked.

He said party members should question why they choose to join the PUK. Is it because of its glorious past, or because of its “vision for the future”?

His answer is to respect past achievements but strive for a brighter future, and “reintroduce the PUK to the people of Kurdistan by committing to its national principles,” coupled with presenting a vision capable of facing today’s challenges.

With these points in mind, he called on all PUK members to “pressure” the party to convene its congress by the end of January.

He concluded that the PUK should continue to believe its slogans that also includes “the right to self-determination.”

The PUK, Kurdistan’s third-largest party in terms of number of seats in the parliament, has strong influence over the Peshmerga and security forces in the provinces of Sulaimani and Halabja.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/201120175
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:31 am

Kurds, Warning of Hostilities in Iraq, Appeal for a U.S. Envoy
Ben Kesling

WASHINGTON—The Iraqi Kurdish government has asked the U.S. to appoint a special envoy to mediate a deepening and potentially dangerous dispute between the central government in Baghdad and the semiautonomous Kurdish region, a top Kurdish official said Monday.

Falah Mustafa Bakir, the head of foreign relations for Iraqi Kurdistan, told The Wall Street Journal that he has approached U.S. officials with a request for the Americans to do more to address friction between Baghdad and the Kurdish government in Erbil. Iraqi military...

Full Article:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/kurds-warn ... 1511220156
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:32 am

Iraqi court rules Kurdish independence vote unconstitutional

Iraq's Supreme Federal Court ruled on Monday a Sept. 25 Kurdish independence referendum was unconstitutional and the results void, strengthening Baghdad's hand in a stand-off with the Kurdish region watched closely by neighbouring Turkey and Iran.

The Kurdistan Regional Government did not directly say whether it accepted the effective cancellation of the vote, but its new prime minister called for a third party to oversee talks between Iraq's central government and the Kurds.

The KRG also called on the international community -- including the United Nations, European Union and non-governmental organisations -- to intervene and help lift what it called "restrictive" sanctions imposed by Baghdad in retaliation for the referendum.

Kurds voted overwhelmingly to break away from Iraq in the referendum, defying the central government in Baghdad and alarming neighbouring Turkey and Iran who have their own Kurdish minorities.

"The Federal Court issued the decision to consider the Kurdish region's referendum unconstitutional and this ruling is final," a court spokesman said. "The power of this ruling should now cancel all the results of the referendum."

The court is responsible for settling disputes between Iraq’s central government and its regions, including Kurdistan. The verdict is not subject to appeal.

A statement from Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said: "We call upon everybody to ... avoid taking any step which violates the constitution and law."

FLIGHTS BANNED

The court had ruled on Nov. 6 that no region or province can secede. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said last week it would respect that verdict, signalling a new phase in efforts to restart negotiations over the region's future.

The Iraqi government responded to the Kurdish independence referendum by seizing the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk and other territory disputed between the Kurds and the central government. It also banned direct flights to Kurdistan and demanded control over border crossings.

Long-serving Kurdish president Masoud Barzani stepped down over the affair and the regional government led by his nephew Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has tried to negotiate an end to the confrontation.

In a news conference following Monday's ruling, Nechirvan Barzani said the court's ruling was reached unilaterally, without input from KRG representatives, and called for a third party to oversee negotiations between Baghdad and the Kurds.

"The rights of Kurds are enshrined in the (Iraqi) constitution and we seek the implementation of this constitution to resolve our issues with Baghdad," Barzani told reporters, according to Kurdish Rudaw TV.

"The constitution is one package and must be applied in its entirety, not selectively."

However, Barzani did not directly say whether Kurdish officials accepted the effective cancellation of the referendum. The KRG had previously offered only to freeze the results.

The KRG later said its chief concern was the lifting of an embargo on international flights to the region, which it said hampered foreign investment as well as humanitarian efforts for the more than 1.5 million internally displaced people currently in the region.

"We call on the international community to intercede in urging Baghdad authorities to lift the embargo, without condition, on international flights."

"The restrictive policies adopted by Baghdad against Erbil are in violation of Iraq's obligations and responsibilities under international and humanitarian law," the KRG said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad and Raya Jalabi in Erbil; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Janet Lawrence and William Maclean)
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:55 am

We need people to study the Iraqi constitution and Bremer Law especially the parts relating to the military

The current basis for the organization and discipline of the Iraqi military originates from Bremer Orders Number 22 and 23 issued in 2003.

At a lunch with President Bush, Bremer made the argument that
the plan would violate the principle of unity of command and lead to
confusion. Bush agreed and decided to send Bremer alone to lead the
Coalition Provisional Authority and to give him supreme authority over all
US actions in Iraq; Bremer was, in effect, the US Viceroy in Iraq. President
Bush’s important decision was made without consulting his Secretary of
State or National Security Adviser.

According to Colin Powell, ‘The plan
was for Zal to go back. He was the one guy who knew this place better than
anyone. I thought this was part of the deal with Bremer. But with no
discussion, no debate, things changed. I was stunned’. Powell observed that
President Bush’s decision was ‘typical’. There were ‘no full deliberations.
And you suddenly discover, gee, maybe that wasn’t so great, we should have
thought about it a little longer’.

Further, these decisions were made in the face of CIA intelligence
judgments that in the aftermath of an initial US military victory, that
significant ethnic political conflict was likely to occur. The former chief of
the CIA Directorate of Intelligence, Richard Kerr, headed a team to analyze
the CIA’s intelligence performance before the war in Iraq. Kerr concluded
that the CIA ‘accurately forecast the reactions of the ethnic and tribal
factions in Iraq. Indeed, intelligence assessments on post-Saddam issues were
particularly insightful. These and many other topics were thoroughly
examined in a variety of intelligence products that have proven to be largely
accurate’.

Kerr concluded that policy makers, though relying heavily on the
inaccurate judgments about WMD, largely ignored the accurate CIA

Roger Cohen, ‘The MacArthur lunch’,
New York Times
, 27 August 2007,


See also Richard Betts,
Enemies of Intelligence
(New York: Columbia University Press 2007)
pp.14–6.
US Blunders in Iraq, predictions of the effect of war on post-Saddam Iraq. Had the accurate CIA
intelligence judgments about the effects of Saddam’s fall been heeded by
policy makers, they might have been more hesitant to de-Baathify the
government and disband the Army.

Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 1: De-Baathification
The decision by Bush to put Bremer fully in charge led to the first of
the two blunders. In his de-Bathification order (Coalition Provisional
Authority Order Number 1 of 16 May 2003), Bremer ordered that all
senior party members would be banned from serving in the government
and the top three layers of officials of all government ministries were
removed, even if they were not senior members of the Baath Party. This
included up to 85,000 people who, in Bremer’s eyes, were ‘true believers’
and adherents to Saddam’s regime.

While Garner had planned a gradual
approach to de-Baathification, Bremer’s approach was more far-reaching
and draconian.

Bremer argued that the decision to ban Baathists from participating in a
new Iraqi government was made by President Bush. In a sense, he was
correct. The plans for de-Baathification were presented to Bush at 10 March
2003 NSC meeting by Douglas Feith.

There was broad consensus that top
level Saddam allies in the party had to be purged in order to show Iraqis that
Saddam’s influence was gone. The Office of Special Plans in Douglas Feith’s
office worked on the plans with Ahmed Chalabi and favored a deep de-
Baathification of the Iraq government.

Bremer said that on 9 May Feith showed him a draft of an order for the
‘De-Baathification of Iraqi Society,’ and later that day he received his
‘marching orders’ in a final memo from Rumsfeld.

Feith said that the
decision had been ‘worked and reworked in interagency meetings, and by
early May it had interagency clearance’.

Once in Iraq, Bremer said that
‘The White House, DoD, and State all signed off on this’.

Despite Feith’s
assertion that the decision had been cleared in an inter-agency process, the
military had a distinctly different understanding of the policy and the CIA
was not consulted.
The military interpretation of the purge was that it would apply to the
top two levels of the Baath party, those who were clearly leaders,

VERY INTERESTING

http://pfiffner.gmu.edu/files/pdfs/Arti ... %20PDF.pdf

There is a great deal of reading/studying to be done we need volunteers :-B
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:08 am

Bremer interpreted the de-Baathification policy to exclude the top
four levels of the Baath Party as
well as the top three levels in each government ministry.

This decision effectively eliminated the leadership and top technical capacity for
universities, hospitals, transportation, electricity and communications.

For instance in the Heath Ministry a third of the staff were forced out, and eight
of the top twelve officers in the organization were excluded.

Although Bremer said that the order would affect only about 20,000 people, the total
amounted to between 85,000 to 100,000 people.

This included ‘forty thousand schoolteachers, who had joined the Baath Party simply to keep
their jobs’

The CIA station chief of
Baghdad, when he learned of the decision, warned Bremer that he (Bremer)
was about to fire the key technicians who operated the electric, water and
transportation infrastructure of the country. He told Bremer, ‘By nightfall,
you’ll have driven 30,000 to 50,000 Baathists underground. And in six
months, you’ll really regret this’.

The Baath Party were Sunni - now do people understand why ISIS was widely welcomed by the Sunni in Iraq - they were less than happy by the way they had been forced out out government and governmental jobs and, as we know, attacked by Shia who imprisoned, tortured, raped and slaughtered large numbers of Sunni
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:56 pm

Change Movement in meeting with KRG reiterates dissolution of government X( X( X(

The Change Movement (Gorran) reiterated in a meeting with the Kurdish prime minister and his deputy in Sulaimani on Tuesday that they strongly encourage the dissolution of the current cabinet and its replacement with an interim government.

Dr. Aso Mahmood, a Gorran official briefed reporters after the meeting, saying the aim of his party's insistence on the establishment of an interim government is for “improving the salary and livelihood of the people of Kurdistan, preserving the sovereignty of the Region and holding a free and fair election on time.”

Mohammed described the meeting as being more “consultative” and said “no decision was made in it.”

He said they told the KRG delegation that “if the current government goes to Baghdad for talks, it will fail and not achieve anything.”

In the wake of the October 16 events, which saw a major withdrawal of Kurdish parties in Kirkuk and some other disputed areas, the Gorran called for the establishment of an interim government.

Barzani said, after a cabinet meeting on Monday that all parties were already part of the government and that they must instead focus on making things work in the current cabinet.

“It is not clear to me what they want exactly,” he said. “We are ready to make changes but what do they want or mean by an interim government? This government too is an interim and we have a limited timeline.”

The Change Movement official predicted that a five party meeting will be held between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Gorran, Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal) in the near future to resolve the current crisis that has engulfed the Region.

The KRG delegation, after the meeting, headed to Dabashan to meet with the PUK.

The Kurdish government began a new round of talks on Monday with the political parties starting from the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) in Erbil.

After the meeting, PM Nechirvan Barzani announced in a Facebook post that they had a “fruitful” meeting with Salahaddin Bahadin, KIU leader.

We stressed the significance of unity and harmony to pass the current circumstances,” Barzani said.

The KIU, however, in a statement earlier this week had also called for the establishment of a transitional government.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/211120172
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