human rights watch

söndag 29 juni 2014

Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief

Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief .
 lêmanî (Sulaimaniyah), Erbil-Hewlêr, Duhok, Kirkuk [Kerkûk], Raniya, Halabja, Kurdistan Region 'Iraq'

Kurdish MP predicts to adjourn Iraqi parliament's first session until further notice after performing sworn

Baghdad: The spokesman of the Kurdistan Alliance bloc, former MP, Moaid al-Tayyib guessed adjourning the first meeting until further notice after performing sworn. Al-Tayyib said "The winners MPs of the Kurdish blocs will attend the first session in accordance with the bylaw of the Council in order to perform sworn formally."  He added, " if the Kurdish political blocs do not reach an agreement on naming their candidates for the three presidencies, the head of the session (oldest MP) will adjourn the session until further notice until further notice, since the election of the Speaker of the parliament and the Republic need a political consensus before the meeting. " It is scheduled the new parliament will hold its first session on next Tuesday, 1 July. 

No land connection between Iraq and Kurdistan: Jabar Yawar


Erbil: The Spokesman of the Kurdish forces of Peshmerga in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Region, Jabar Yawar, said there is no longer a land connection between the Kurdistan region and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad. Speaking with NPR, he said disputes between Erbil and Baghdad are not limited to politics, “there is a new reality in Iraq and we have geographical differences with Baghdad.” Baghdad is responsible for cutting the land connection between the central and northern government, he added. “We do all our best to keep Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk as Kirkuk is our people’s living place. The city is our land and we have to defend it,” a Kurdish official, Nouri Abdulrahman told NPR, stressing that Kirkuk’s oil takes Kurds one step closer to independence. We have never hidden our will and whenever possible we will declare it, he said about recent speeches by Kurdish leader, including Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani, about the Kurdish region’s independence.

Kurdish authorities place tight restrictions on border crossings with Iraq

Erbil: Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region has put tight restrictions on the border crossings used by Iraqis fleeing extremist militants and airstrikes in the northern city of Mosul on Saturday, raising fears of a humanitarian crisis as some desperate families may be left with nowhere to go. The Kurdish regional government’s decision to first close the border crossings and then reopen them with restrictions came on the same day Iraq’s security forces went on the offensive, carrying out airstrikes in Mosul and fighting to take back Tikrit from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters, known as ISIS. The offensive appeared to mark a turn for Iraqi security forces, who were routed by ISIS fighters this month during a lighting advance that saw the al Qaeda offshoot seize large swaths of northern and western Iraq. State media and a local tribal leader reported that Iraqi forces had retaken the city of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown. Hundreds of thousands fled when Mosul fell to ISIS two and a half weeks ago. Many headed for Kurdistan

PUK supports Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani remarks about independence 

Slêmanî: The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) stated its support to remarks by Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani about the enclave’s independence from the central government in Baghdad. A member of the party, Izzat Ismaeil, told Radio Sawa that all parties in the region back steps in line with the Kurdistan independence from Baghdad, reiterating Peshmerga forces’ control on disputed regions, including Kirkuk and Khanaqin. The recent parliament elections in Kirkuk proved the province’s Kurdish identity, stressing that “now it is the best time for the Kurds to have Kirkuk on their control.” He denied the Kurdish region’s responsibility for violence in Kirkuk, adding that the province and its center have been in a tense situation for years and violence is a common issue there. In an interview with CNN, Barzani said the Kurdish forces of Peshmerga have controlled Kirkuk and they will not leave the city and article 140 has been

Armed U.S. aircraft now flying over Iraq: defense officials 

Washington: The Obama administration is flying armed aircraft over Iraq, defense officials said on Friday, adding that the flights were aimed at gathering intelligence and ensuring the safety of U.S. personnel on the ground rather than conducting strikes."What I would tell you is that we continue to fly both manned and unmanned aircraft over Iraq at the ... Iraqi government's request, predominantly for reconnaissance purposes. Some of those aircraft are armed," Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters. "The reason that some of those aircraft are armed is primarily for force protection reasons now that we have introduced into the country some military advisers whose objective will be to operate outside the confines of the embassy," he said. The United States has increased manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights over Iraq - to about 30 to 35 a day - in an effort to help Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government repel the advance of Islamist militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)....Reuters 

Al-Ahrar bloc delegation in Kurdistan

Slêmanî: Al-Ahrar bloc parliamentary delegation arrived in Slêmanî [Sulaimaniyah] on Saturday afternoon, for an intensive dialogue with the leaders of Kurdish political blocs in the Kurdistan region, on the formation of the federal government.  Head of the Bloc MP in the previous parliament Mushriq Naji said that the delegation of al-Ahrar bloc headed by him arrived in Slêmanî, including spokesperson of the bloc MP Jawad al-Jubouri and Amir al- Kenani. "The purpose of the visit is to hold meetings with Kurdish political leaders for the purpose of coordination and consultation to get out of the crisis plaguing the country and accelerate the formation of the government.

Iraq Expert: ‘Insurgency is as Much Old Baathist as it is ISIS’

Gareth Stansfield, a Middle East expert at the University of Exeter, warns in an interview with Rudaw that the Sunni insurgency in Iraq has wide implications for the region, including greater involvement by Iran and Turkey. Stansfield, who is Director of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) at the UK university and who before Saddam Hussein’s fall worked in Iraq in 1996-2001, notes that the battlefield victories racked up by the insurgents in little more than a fortnight are the work of a deadly alliance between the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Saddam’s old elite guards. Stansfield notes that Iran’s growing role in Iraq comes as United States is losing influence. “This is an Iranian-designed defense of Baghdad that’s happening,” he says. 

Casualties of Turkmen Volunteers in clashes with ISIS south of Kirkuk

Taza: Clashes were going on between Turkmen volunteers and militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS organization near Bashir village, referring that a number of those volunteers were killed and others were wounded, a source in Kirkuk revealed on Sunday. “Clashes took place between Turkmen volunteers from Taza sub-district towards Bashir village controlled by ISIS jihadists, indicating that a number of volunteers were killed and at least nine of them were injured ,” The source said. He added that the ongoing clashes between the two sides. Turkmen volunteers seek to restore Bashir village seized by ISIs gunmen after the withdrawal of the Iraqi security forces about two weeks ago.

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