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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 Oct 19, 2017 10:39 pm

As Kirkuk's Governor Is Forced to Flee, Iran Moves In

Baghdad and Washington say the invasion has been no big deal

The Kurds beg to differ

Najmaldin Karim, the Kurdish governor of Kirkuk Province, will not be returning to the city that elected him in 2011 and 2014. It's too dangerous.

In an interview Wednesday, he told me he fled his home on Tuesday in the early evening and has no plans at the moment to return. "If I go back, my life is in danger," he told me. "Even the night when all this happened, I had to maneuver carefully to go to safety."

Karim's blunt assessment calls into question a few things the Iraqi and U.S. government have been saying about the crisis that began after the Iraqi military this week drove out the Kurdish militias that had secured the city of Kirkuk since 2014.

To start, it suggests many Kurds do not put faith in Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's recent order for Shiite militias, many of whom are proxies of Iran, to leave the city. Karim told me, "Last night Shiite militias raided Kurdish neighborhoods, and today thousands are leaving. They beat up people. This was all from the Shiite militias. The ones the U.S. led coalition said were not there." He added: "Abadi claims there were no casualties. We have seen trucks full of dead bodies."

U.S. officials monitoring the situation in Iraq told me their intelligence assessments are not this grave, and that they cannot confirm widespread casualties. They told me many of the Kurdish statements on Kirkuk have been overblown, but they did acknowledge that some Shiite militias participated in what the Iraqi government had assured the U.S. was originally just a military exercise and not an operation to take back Kirkuk. Before the Iraqi army moved in, Abadi even called reports of the impending invasion "fake news."

All of this presents a problem for Abadi and his government. On the one hand, the prime minister claims that his army was asserting territorial control on behalf of the country's elected government. Kurdish fighters have held Kirkuk since 2014, after the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of an Islamic State rampage.

Yet the Iraqi government has now undermined the people of Kirkuk by stripping Karim of his governorship in response to the Kurdistan Regional Government's decision allow residents of the province to vote in a referendum on declaring independence. This is a particularly tough blow to Kurds, who consider Kirkuk to be their Jerusalem. Saddam Hussein cleansed the Kurds from the city and replaced their population with Sunni Arabs.

The Iraqi army's incursion into Kirkuk also undermines a longstanding bargain in the new Iraq to settle political disputes without violence. The Kurds voted in a referendum for independence, but they did not declare statehood. The fact that Baghdad has responded with military force sets a dangerous precedent. As Nibras Kazimi, the Iraqi-American author of the Talisman Gate blog, tweeted Wednesday: "What was lost was the gentlemen's agreement underwriting era of new politics in Baghdad: force will not arbitrate or settle disputes."

Karim, like many Kurdish leaders, says the Iraqi army acted this week as a cat's paw of Iran. Not all analysts agree. Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who is currently in Baghdad, told me that Baghdad was forced to act because Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani pushed ahead with the referendum. "Kirkuk is disputed, it is mixed," said Rubin. "And Barzani decided to shred the status quo. Far from a victory for Iran, the whole episode probably aids U.S. interests because Abadi is far more mindful of the West than many of his competitors. He's riding high."

U.S. officials tell me that Abadi was acting in part to head off his main political competition in next year's national elections, former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. After the Kurdish referendum, Maliki began campaigning on the importance of winning back Kirkuk. U.S. diplomats on the ground in Iraq assessed that Abadi would have faced a no-confidence vote had he not taken some action against the Kurds.

None of this, however, is to say that Iran did not play a role in the events of the last 72 hours. This is where the chief of Iran's notorious Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, comes in. On Sunday, Soleimani cut a deal with the widow and nephews of Jalal Talabani, the recently deceased leader of Barzani's rival party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. As I wrote this month, Talabani aligned with Iran during the intra-Kurdish civil war of the 1990s. The Kurdish Peshmerga units that retreated this week from the Iraqi army and Shiite militias were loyal to Talabani's party.

"They reached an understanding for Peshmerga commanders to not participate in the fight when Iraqi forces came into Kirkuk," Karim, who is a senior member of the PUK, said. "The day before the attack, Talibani's eldest son, Bafel, and his nephew Lahur and his older brother Araz came to Kirkuk and met with Qassem Soleimani's representative there. He gave an ultimatum, you either give up your positions or we will attack you."

Some Peshmerga fought the Iraqi army nonetheless. But the withdrawal of major units meant that the Iraqi army could take Kirkuk with ease.

That incident has roiled the Kurdistan Regional Government. Barzani called the Peshmerga commanders and the Talabani faction that made the deal "traitors." Leaders of a reform faction inside the Kurdish parliament, known as the Gorran Movement, have begun to question Barzani's decision to move forward with the referendum vote. Soleimani's sneaky diplomacy has divided the Kurds just as they came closest to reaching their dream of an independent state.

(I always suspected the Gorran were to blame)

Meanwhile, the situation for the Kurds keeps getting worse. Iran has closed its border with the Kurdistan region. The Turks are threatening to close the border as well, and have cut off bank access to the government in Erbil. The Trump administration for now has refused to take sides in the dispute.

Karim told me he was ashamed today of the U.S. government. That itself is revealing. Karim held dual U.S. and Iraqi citizenship and for years, was one of the most pro-American politicians in Iraq. Today he is defiant: "We will return to Kirkuk one day, I am not sure when, but we will return."

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles ... n-moves-in
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:08 pm

Iraqi army, Shiite militia and Peshmerga exchange heavy fire north of Kirkuk

11:40 pm

"As you see, it was a very heavy fight," said Peshmerga commander Anwari Haji Othman in Pirde.

The Peshmerga claimed they destroyed 2 tanks, 12 Humvees, and 1 armoured personnel carrier of the Shiite force.

Iraqi forces have stated that Pirde (Altun Kupri) is under their full control.


10:27 pm

Kurdistan security council condemns global ‘silence’ on Iraqi ‘aggression’

The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) has condemned the “deafening silence” from the world as Iraq, with Iranian support, has attacked Kurdistan.

At 8 o’clock Friday morning, the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shaabi, “armed with American weapons, launched an unprovoked, multi-pronged attack” on the Peshmerga, the KRSC stated, in a press release on Friday evening. The Iraqi forces attacked from the west on the Dubiz-Erbil road and on the east from near Qarabag village.

“Their objective was to enter Qushtapa in South of Erbil,” the KRSC claimed.

Karim Nuri, a commander in the Hashd al-Shaabi, had earlier denied that they intended to enter Erbil, but had been ordered by Iraqi PM Abadi to stop at the Kirkuk-Erbil border.

The KRSC said the “Peshmerga bravely defended Kurdistan in today’s attack,” in which the Iraqi forces used American weapons that had been provided for the war against ISIS.

The security council laid blame on global powers for sitting idly by while Iraqi forces carried out their attacks that have “destabilized at least three of the country’s safest provinces.”

“The deafening silence from the international community has emboldened Iraq and neighbouring countries to attack Kurdistan. The army ostensibly created to defend the people is used today to attack the people of Kurdistan. Iraq’s continued attacks have confirmed Kurds’ legitimate fears about our future in this country. The international community must now intervene and condemn Iraq’s aggressive military attacks.”

The KRSC called on Iraqi forces to withdraw from “occupied territories.”

Iraqi forces have stated that Pirde (Altun Kupri) is under their full contro


9:54 p.m.

Peshmerga claims high casualties among Iraqi forces

The western command of the Peshmerga, formerly stationed in western Kirkuk, stated that six Peshmerga were killed among their forces in Friday’s clashes and a number were injured.

The command said they destroyed two tanks, including one Abrams tank, one armored vehicle, and more than 12 Humvees.

They also claim more than 150 casualties, killed and injured, among the Iraqi forces, consisting of the Iraqi army, Hashd al-Shaabi, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and mercenaries, they reported.

Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said the Peshmerga used the MILAN anti-tank system against its forces in Friday’s clashes in Pirde (Altun Kupri). The defense system was given by Germany to the Peshmerga “exclusively” for the war against ISIS, the statement read.

It said the MILAN weapons caused material and human losses among the Iraqi forces, calling it a violation.

It did not provide details of the number of casualties.

Iraqi forces stated that Altun Kupri is under their full control, also confirmed by Rudaw's reporters.


7:24 pm

Two journalists injured in Iraq-Peshmerga clashes

A Rudaw cameraman and a Belgian freelance reporter were injured while covering Friday’s clashes in Pirde, also known as Altun Kupri. Their injuries are not life threatening.

Rudaw cameraman Saman Ghani was covering the clashes, where he said the Peshmerga were putting up “a lot of resistance” when a mortar landed near him.

“I was standing by the reporter, Hiwa Husamadin. A mortar shell landed suddenly next to us by the Humvee. [Shrapnel] hit my hand and neck. But thank God I feel very good now,” said Ghani.

Freelance Belgian photojournalist Jonathan Raa was also injured. He told Rudaw he was feeling fine and his thoughts were with the Peshmerga fighting on the frontline.


4:59 p.m.

Paris to Baghdad: Show restraint and respect Kurdish rights

France has called on the Iraqi government to “show restraint” as Baghdad-controlled forces, along with Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi, are about 50 km south of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region.

“We ask the federal government to show restraint and fully respect the rights of the Kurds,” French foreign ministry spokesperson Agnes Romatet-Espagne said, Reuters reported.

France and the Kurdistan Region have enjoyed close ties that go back decades. French military trainers have provided training and military assistance to the Peshmerga in the war against ISIS since mid-2014.
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:53 pm

Iraqi Turkmen Front’s crimes in Southern Kurdistan

The Iraqi Turkmen Front that was founded by the MİT is known for their attacks on Kurds in Tuz Khurmatu, Dakuk and Kirkuk

Armed groups under the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) continue to commit crimes against Kurds following the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shaabi’s attacks on Southern Kurdistan territory.

The ITF, founded with support from the MİT by some Sunni Turkmen groups in Hewlêr in 1997, had not resisted against the ISIS attacks on Tal Afar and Kirkuk in 2014 and had fled, seeking refuge with the peshmerga. ITF members led by Ershad Salihi had looted Shia Turkmens’ homes in many areas.

In the rescue operation for Tal Afar in August 2017 by the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shaabi, ITF’s armed members had gone under the umbrella of Esayîb Al Haq, known for their ties to Iran, as a result of the relationship between Iran and Turkey. Ershad Salihi and those who accompanied him entered Telafer after it was taken and put up a flag in a children’s park in the city.

The ITF’s armed forces, acting under the Esayîb El Hak who leads the Qeys El Xezalî known for their ties with Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Qods Forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), carried out attacks against Kurds in many areas including Tuz Khurmatu, Dakuk and Kirkuk after the attacks on October 16.

CRIMES OF THE ITF

Rojnews has listed some of the ITF’s crimes:

    - On September 18 in Kirkuk, the motorcade held by young people was shot at from an ITC building. A young man named Raid Ebdulqadir Ebdurahman lost his life in the attack and 5 young people were wounded.

    - On the day of the referendum, one peshmerga lost his life as a result of the Iraqi Turkmen Front’s fire and one other was wounded in Tuz Khurmatu.

    - During the October 16 attacks, Kurdish homes marked on the doors beforehand in the Askari and Cumhuri neighborhoods of Tuz Khurmatu were looted.

    - According to witnesses, the ITF gangs raided a Kurdish family’s home in Tuz Khurmatu and attempted to rape 3 sisters. But other groups in the Hashd al-Shaabi intervened and ITF gangs abandoned the attempted rape.

    - A PUK building was targeted in Tuz Khurmatu. 15 peshmergas and volunteers were massacred. Many of the dead were reportedly decapitated.

    - PKK member Hogir Baran who lives in Dakuk was taken to the Ottoman bridge, and executed.

    - Kurdistan Free Society Movement’s (Tevgera Azadi) offices in Tuz Khurmatu, Dakûk and Kirkuk were set on fire and the assets were insulted.

    - It was again the ITF members who took down Southern Kurdistan flags from the Kirkuk Fortress and many other places in the city and trampled them.

    - The peshmerga statue on the Kirkuk-Hewlêr road was set on fire by the ITF members. ITC members set fire to the scaffolding around the newly finished statue and damaged the statue itself. With the Iraqi police’s intervention, the statue did not fall.

    - A historic monastery in Kirkuk’s Pence Elî neighborhood was damaged and looted by the ITF, and a Turkmen flag was put up.

    - In neighborhoods like Rehimawa, Kerama, Pence Elî and others with a dense Kurdish population, Kurdish political parties and offices were looted.

HOW WAS IT FOUNDED?

Following the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) pushing the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) out of Hewlêr with Saddam Hussein’s tanks on August 31, 1996 and killing over 80 wounded PKK members in May 1997, the MİT held the First Turkmen Council in Hewlêr in October 1997 and formed the ITF. ITF had been connected to the explosions in Kirkuk after 2003 and the massacres in Shengal in 2007.

ALLIANCE IN ANIMOSITY AGAINST KURDS

Reports say the recent alliance between Turkey and Iran on the basis of animosity against Kurds is behind ITF’s submission to Iran-backed groups. As the Mosul operation launched in October 2017, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP officials repeatedly called Hashd al-Shaabi terrorists and accused them of “killing Turkmens”. But when Tal Afar was taken by Hashd al-Shaabi, Turkey stayed silent.
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:58 pm

US Congress Members Urge Washington to Mediate Between Erbil and Baghdad

Four members of US Congress have called on the country’s Secretary of State to broker and immediate ceasing of hostilities between the Baghdad-backed Shi’ite militias of Hashd al-Shaabi and the Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan Region.

“We have noted with great alarm the recent actions of the Government of Iraq, in concert with Iranian-backed Shia militias, in attacking Kurdish forces in order to reclaim territory currently under the control and administration of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG),” reads a letter by Ralph Abraham, Jared Polis, Marsha Blackburn and Mike Gallagher to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“We urge you to utilise all available resources to broker an immediate ceasing of offensive hostilities, and further, to seek a long-term diplomatic solution.”

The member of US congress have also warned of continued Iraqi government military actions to possibly “divert attention and critical resource — which the United States has provided” from war against Islamic State (IS).

“The Government of Iraq and Kurdish Regional Government are vital partners in the fight against terrorism,” the letter continues. “We urge you to engage your Iraqi and Kurdish counterparts to ensure that the fight against ISIL [Islamic State] continues without delay.”

http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/new ... tan/386931
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:40 am

The Clash Over Kirkuk and Why the Real Crisis Is in Baghdad—Not Erbil
By Ranj Alaaldin

It is an indictment of U.S. foreign policy that the two major players in the U.S.-led military campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) have come to blows: the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government. Four days ago, Baghdad deployed thousands of its forces and the militias of the Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) to Kirkuk, which is claimed by both the KRG and Baghdad. After clashes following the KRG’s refusal to hand over the province, Baghdad now controls the oil-rich territory.

Kirkuk has long been one of the country’s most dangerous flashpoints and the most coveted of its disputed territories. It contains as much as an estimated nine billion barrels of oil and hosts a series of strategic installations and facilities, including its oilfields, airport, and the important K-1 military base.

Kirkuk has historically been home to a Kurdish-majority population, but Arab families were moved into the area to manipulate its demographics during the rule of the Baath regime, a policy that was termed “Arabization.”

The region used to be jointly administered by Baghdad and the KRG, but it fell under full Kurdish control after the Iraqi Army withdrew from the province in 2014 as ISIS launched its offensive in northern Iraq. The Kurds immediately moved into Kirkuk to fill the resulting security vacuum. The calculus in Baghdad was that if Kirkuk had remained under Kurdish control indefinitely, it would have resulted in an emboldened Kurdistan at a time when the Iraqi state was fragile and Baghdad’s ruling Shiite political class was facing a crisis of authority.

    It is not the Kurds who face an existential crisis. It is Iraq.
Observers have been quick to declare that the loss of Kirkuk could set the KRG and, more generally, the Kurdish state-building project back by a decade, and so soon after the Kurdish independence referendum held three weeks ago. But this is not the end of the road for Kurdistan, and it is certainly not the first battle for Kirkuk and will likely not be the last. Fundamentally, it is Iraq that faces an existential crisis resulting from its weak or collapsed institutions, sectarian conflict, and the continued threat from jihadist groups.

ABADI AND THE PMF

The United States has not condemned the Kirkuk offensive and, according to some reports, was even provided with advance notice of the offensive. Its acquiescence to Baghdad’s mobilization was premised on the notion that it would empower Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, and sideline hardline Shiite factions aligned with Iran. Essentially, the stronger Abadi looked to the electorate, the greater his chances of winning forthcoming elections—or so goes the thinking in Washington. But that was always faulty logic.

    There is little to keep Ankara, Baghdad, and Tehran unified against the KRG in the long run.
It is particularly telling that Iraqi security forces were joined by the PMF, which itself suggests Abadi lacked the confidence that Iraq’s conventional forces could have retaken Kirkuk on their own. But doing so was dangerous for him. Collectively, Iran-aligned factions and Abadi’s own rivals within his Islamic Dawa Party, including the powerful but controversial former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, have sought to upend his premiership since 2014 by adopting a more confrontational position toward the Kurds and moderate Arab Sunni and Shiite factions. In large part, such efforts were aimed at preventing Abadi from projecting himself as an effective and unifying leader ahead of elections in April 2018.

If anything, the victory in Kirkuk sets Abadi up for a fall: it has given further momentum to the PMF’s rise. Meanwhile, within hours of taking Kirkuk, the leadership of the powerful Badr Brigade, a militia established by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the 1980s, and Ketaib Hezbollah, which the United States designates as a terrorist organization, lowered Kurdistan’s flag at the provincial council, despite earlier contentions that it was only Iraqi security forces who were in Kirkuk.

UNLIKELY BEDFELLOWS

The creation of a U.S.-aligned fully independent KRG in control of Kirkuk may have provided the motivation for Iraq’s disparate Shiite factions to come together. But the alliance of unlikely bedfellows will be short-lived as the battle within the Shiite political class over the Iraqi state and its resources deepens in the coming months. In addition to facing pressure from Maliki and Iran-aligned militia groups within the PMF, Abadi also faces resistance from the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who heads Iraq’s most powerful sociopolitical movement and has mobilized hundreds of thousands of his supporters against the government over the past two years.

In Iraq, power is diffuse, distributed among parties, militias, tribes, and clerics that have turned the Iraqi state and its ministries into patronage networks. Since the toppling of the Saddam regime, elections have been contested on the basis of ethnicity and sect, resulting in coalition governments and confessional power-sharing arrangements that have required grand bargaining between multiple ethno-sectarian factions. Although that system may allow for more inclusive governance, in the absence of national unity, it has also resulted in political deadlock.

For the Kurds, such dysfunction enhances their bargaining position. Since 2003, no government has been formed without Kurdish participation. In fact, Kurdistan was banking on this dynamic as it consolidated its position in places such as Kirkuk. The Kurds may no longer control Kirkuk, but they will still be fundamental to any government formation process in Baghdad after the coming elections. It may be that Baghdad closes the door to Kurdish participation in the governing coalition, but that would be disastrous for Iraq and resisted by both Arab Sunni and Shiite factions in Baghdad, as well as by Turkey, the United States, and much of the Arab world, since they would fear that such a measure could ultimately favor the Iranian-backed elements of the political class while also putting the legitimacy of the Iraqi state in doubt.

    The battle within the Shiite political class over the Iraqi state will deepen.
Regionally, Kurdistan will weather the storm because of the volatility in the Middle East and the battle between Iran and Turkey for hegemony. Iran and Turkey are united against the referendum and backed the operation in Kirkuk. But there is little to keep Ankara, Baghdad, and Tehran unified against the KRG in the long run. In northern Iraq, Turkey and Iran already back rival armed groups that are wrestling for control of strategically significant, resource-rich territories that lie adjacent to Syria, where Iran and Turkey fight on opposite sides.

Meanwhile, the KRG is an important conduit through which to counter and manage Kurdish groups based in Turkey and Iran, as it has been for decades. For Turkey, the KRG will be crucial to containing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Similarly, Iran faces a rejuvenated Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), the sister group of the PKK based in Iran, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran (KDPI). The latter has been afforded sanctuary by the KRG and has held back from engaging Iran in a full-scale conflict, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Iraqi Kurdish leadership.

The intra-Kurdish web of personal and organizational ties has provided Turkey and Iran with nonviolent, cost-effective means through which to manage their internal Kurdish issues. A weakened KRG would undermine such efforts. Moreover, both could soon compete for stronger ties with the KRG to shift the regional balance of power in their own favor and protect themselves from whatever will follow the end of the military campaigns against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

WHOSE CRISIS?

At the time of writing, locals in Kirkuk and Khanaqin (located in the disputed province of Diyala) were resisting the PMF and Iraqi security forces, and they may yet force them out. Baghdad may soon realize the scale of the challenge it has taken on by exacerbating ethnic and sectarian tensions in a province that it had previously failed to govern and stabilize, let alone control. In other words, Baghdad is not yet in any position to celebrate. Indeed, it is not the Kurds who face an existential crisis. It is Iraq, which is divided among several centers of power, faces Arab Sunni discontent that may yet enable a resurgence of ISIS, and lacks the credibility and legitimacy it would need to solve any of these problems.

    The Kurds may have the last say

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles ... ver-kirkuk
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:55 am

Russia's Rosneft to take control of Iraqi Kurdish pipeline amid crisis

Russia’s biggest oil company, Rosneft (ROSN.MM), has agreed to take control of Iraqi Kurdistan’s main oil pipeline, boosting its investment in the autonomous region to $3.5 billion despite Baghdad’s military action sparked by a Kurdish vote for independence.

The move appears to be part of a strategy by President Vladimir Putin to boost Moscow’s Middle Eastern political and economic influence, which was weakened by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Rosneft’s investment comes amid a crisis in Kurdistan’s relations with the central government in Baghdad since the region held an independence referendum last month, which angered neighbors Iran and Turkey.

The United States called the referendum a provocation X( Moscow has effectively supported the vote, saying it understood Kurdish aspirations for independence. :ymapplause:

Rosneft said it would own 60 percent of the pipeline, with current operator KAR Group retaining 40 percent. Sources familiar with the deal said Rosneft’s investment in the project was expected to total about $1.8 billion.

That comes on top of $1.2 billion that the Russian firm, which has struggled to raise Western loans due to U.S. sanctions, lent Kurdistan earlier this year to help fill holes in its budget. Rosneft also agreed to invest another $400 million in five exploration blocks.

“I plead with you not to forget Kurdistan,” the region’s resources minister Ashti Hawrami told an industry conference in Verona, Italy, on Thursday, hours before signing the pipeline deal with Rosneft boss Igor Sechin, one of Putin’s top allies.

Sechin called on Baghdad and Erbil to settle their differences.

But with Rosneft effectively becoming a controlling stakeholder in Kurdish oil infrastructure, the move should help shield Erbil from pressure from Baghdad and its neighbors. :ymapplause:

“The calculation here is that the presence of Rosneft and the Kremlin will boost the sense of security,” one industry source close to Erbil said. “Having fought and defeated Islamic State, Erbil felt abandoned and threatened by Iran.”

The most prominent Iranian figure in Iraq, Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of foreign operations for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, is believed to have helped coordinate Iraq’s military operation in Kurdistan in recent days.

EXPORTS DISRUPTED

Kurdish oil exports face the worst disruption in months and are running at only a third of capacity, threatening repayments to Rosneft and other major creditors, including top trading houses such as Glencore (GLEN.L) and Vitol.

Kurdistan has borrowed around $4 billion from Rosneft, traders and Turkey, guaranteed by future oil sales.

As exports have dropped to around 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) this week from usual volumes of 600,000 bpd, traders have become jittery about the billions of dollars at stake.

“We are monitoring the situation as there could be payment delays,” Glencore Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg said on Thursday.

Exports were disrupted after the Iraqi military took over the oil-rich Kirkuk area from Kurdish Peshmerga forces this week, resulting in production disruptions from local fields.

Baghdad has also threatened to re-route a big chunk of oil flows towards an old oil pipeline, which has been out of operation for several years since Kurdistan built its own infrastructure to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

Industry experts have said the plan was unrealistic as the pipeline was old and rusty and needed major investments.

Baghdad also asked oil major BP (BP.L) to return to Kirkuk and help it revive production there, signaling it was determined to deprive Erbil of a big chunk of revenues. It also cut off air and banking ties to Erbil with the help of Turkey and Iran.

Rosneft will be investing in expanding Erbil’s independent pipeline, which Baghdad has targeted, hoping to boost its capacity by a third to 950,000 bpd. That is the equivalent of about 1 percent of global supply.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mide ... SKBN1CP16L
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Piling » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:24 am

PUK Peshmergas withdraw from Chamchamal and Iraqi PMU will take Taq Taq oil field.

When Talabani clan will give Sulaymanieh to Iran ?
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:09 pm

Piling wrote:PUK Peshmergas withdraw from Chamchamal and Iraqi PMU will take Taq Taq oil field.

When Talabani clan will give Sulaymanieh to Iran ?


Without Jalal Talabani his tribe/clan have fallen into the hands of the Gorran (known troublemakers) and because of them the Talabani have become divided :-s

You would remember better than I do: many years ago Jalal talabani gave a really famous speech about Kurdish Independence and unity - do you remember it?

I cannot find it anywhere :(
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Piling » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:18 pm

I saw it on twitter some days ago, but don't know where it is now. Probably on YouTube.

Is it this one ?

https://youtu.be/6TDLOWmck6M

Now Iraqi/Iranian Hashd are closed to KDP-Iran Peshermgas, who said they are ready to fight.

https://twitter.com/PDKIenglish/status/ ... 3342870529

USA did want to stabilize Iraq ? :-?
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:01 pm

Piling wrote:I saw it on twitter some days ago, but don't know where it is now. Probably on YouTube.

Is it this one ?

https://youtu.be/6TDLOWmck6M


I do not think that is it - the one I am thinking about is much older and was really famous

Piling wrote:Now Iraqi/Iranian Hashd are closed to KDP-Iran Peshermgas, who said they are ready to fight.

https://twitter.com/PDKIenglish/status/ ... 3342870529

USA did want to stabilize Iraq ? :-?

And Turkey are attacking the PKK in the north of Kurdistan X(
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:27 pm

Rep. Franks Strongly Condemns Violence Against Kurdish Forces in Kirkuk
Press Release October 16, 2017

Washington, D.C. – In reaction to reports that Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Units (i.e. militia groups) – predominantly the Hash’d al-Shaabi – have openly engaged Kurdish defense forces, battling in Kirkuk, Rep. Trent Franks released the following statement strongly condemning the violence and urging the Administration to protect the Kurds and prevent Iran from spreading its influence:

“The Hash’d al-Shaabi has shown its true colors. They are not interested in the collective security of Iraq and the Middle East. Rather, they are a pawn of the corrupt regime in Tehran, committed to affecting a ‘Shi’ite Crescent’ to continue funneling money and arms to designated terrorist groups like Hezbollah.

“The recipe for de-escalation was and continues to be clear, and I echo the sentiments of my previous statements when I say that the American government must end its indifference to our loyal allies, the Kurds. We must respect the desire of our steadfast friends to determine their own destiny. When America sought its independence from Great Britain, we received the blessing of sympathetic world leaders. In turn, the U.S. should support the Kurds’ bid for independence, as doing so is clearly in our national interest.

“With that in mind, I urge Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi to fulfill his pledge to prevent any external or internal attacks against the Kurds and prove Baghdad is not the puppet of Tehran. Otherwise, the U.S. will have no other choice but to pull funding, as it cannot in good conscience send money to an Iranian patsy working to subvert American interests.”

https://franks.house.gov/media-center/p ... ces-kirkuk
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:24 pm

KRG warns of humanitarian crisis as people flee insecurity in disputed areas

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is warning of the possibility of a humanitarian crisis if confrontations and insecurity escalate in the disputed areas, causing more people to flee their homes.

“So far, one hundred sixty-eight thousand and three hundred seventy-two (168,372) civilians have been displaced from Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Khurmatu, Zummar, and Rabea to Kurdistan Region,” read a statement from the Ministry of Interior on Saturday.

Iraqi forces, including the Hashd al-Shaabi, have taken over control of disputed areas in Kirkuk, Diyala, and Nineveh provinces this week, including Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Tuz Khurmatu, Makhmour, Zummar, and Shingal.

The KRG reported that 84,000 civilians fled to Erbil, 78,372 fled to Sulaimani and 6,000 arrived in Duhok and Zakho from Rabea and Zummar.

While a majority of the displaced was staying with family, friends, and host communities, a large number was sheltering in unfinished buildings, public places, and camps.

The government and international partners are distributing urgent items and working to provide secure shelter, but emergency humanitarian assistance is needed, including food, water, clothes, blankets, and medical aid, the KRG stated.

Erbil’s governor Nawzad Hadi said displaced people from Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, and Pirde have largely been helped by locals as well as the Barzani Charity Foundation, the Rwanga Organization, and the Red Cross (ICRC). He said they have called on UN agencies to also become involved.

“Regarding the IDPs, we do not have camps to shelter them in, but it is the people of Erbil embracing them and voluntarily giving them their houses and motels and other facilities,” he said.

“What is our duty now is to find spaces for these displaced people,” Hadi said. They do not have plans to set up camps because they hope problems will be resolved soon, particularly in light of the US Department of State’s recent call for cessation of hostilities.

They are challenged to care for the many who have been displaced, the governor said, because of ongoing financial woes.

The government is worried that many more may flee because of “indiscriminate violence, torture, looting, burning civilians’ homes and properties, especially the Kurdish people in these areas,” by the Iraqi and Hashd al-Shaabi forces, the KRG stated.

The United Nations and Human Rights Watch have reported civilian deaths, looting, arson, and forced displacements, mainly of Kurds, in Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu.

The UN had reported that many displaced on Monday, in the first day of confrontations, were already returning home by Tuesday. Subsequent waves of civilians have fled, however, as fears of insecurity remain.

The takeover of the disputed areas is part of a series of measures taken by the central Iraqi government as it seeks to exert federal authority in the Kurdistan Region and Kurdistani areas after the September 25 referendum that saw 92.7 percent of people voting for independence, despite Iraqi opposition.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/211020172
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: dyaoko » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:20 am

an open letter to US senate and Congress

https://www.facebook.com/RojBasKurdista ... 7359368397

By way of introduction, my name is __
I have always loved America because, to me, America stands for liberty, freedom of expression, and democracy.
Why am I contacting you ?
The Kurds are America’s most loyal friends in the Middle East, consistently putting their lives on the line against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.

Recently, the Iraqi Kurds held a non-binding peaceful referendum (as was their democratic right). Naturally, they have been unhappy at seeing the central government violate the Iraqi constitution over the last 10 years -- specifically Article 140. In addition, the Iraqi government has not paid salary of Kurdish employees for more than 3 years.

In response, the governments of Turkey, Iran, and (the greatest betrayal) Iraq have besieged Kurdistan, blockading her by road and air. They have threatened to starve out the Kurdish citizens, as well as the 2 million Muslim, Christian, and Yezidi refugees who have fled there to escape the religious and political extremism within the attacking nations.

All this is current events and recent history, but the greatest horror is the humanitarian disaster that is about to happen. The Iraqi Army and The Iranian-backed Shia Militias (the “Hashid Shabi”) are about to wage full war on the people and guests of Kurdistan with the direct support of the Iran’s IRGC and Qasim Soleimani. In this assault, the Iraqi Army is employing American weapons and tanks that were gifted by the US on the condition that they would only be used against ISIS.

I believe that by transferring American weapons and equipment to Iranian-backed militias operating in Iraq, the Iraqi Army is in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (Article 2 U.S.C. 2785). The Iranian government and their interests are hostile to U.S. interests in the region. They are widely considered to be the world’s leading state sponsor of terror in the Levant. Iran’s IRGC and Quds force -- led by Commander Qasem Soleimani -- was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Government (again) only days ago. It is unfathomable that America would allow their support to be subverted by hostile actors against her allies right before the eyes of the world.

Furthermore, the Iraqi constitution which the U.S. helped birth after the liberation of Iraq does not allow Iraqi Army to use military force against its own people. The impending awfulness is a return to the terrors of Saddam Hussein.
It is not merely that the militias are provoking the Kurds by burning the Kurdistan and American flags, but according to the reports by Human Right Watch and UN, they have burnt and looted more than 150 kurdish houses in Kirkuk and killed hundreds of Iraqi citizens. In the city of Khanaqin and Kirkuk, protestors been killed and beaten. The Army and militias have banned all Kurdish news outlets in the city. 150,000 residents of Kirkuk of all nationalities and creeds have fled their homes to Erbil (the capital of Kurdistan) and added to the large number of refugees in the streets and camps.

It is reasonable to debate the rightness or wrongness of the opinion the Kurds expressed in their referendum, but what we are seeing a reasonable response from a democratic government receiving direct support from the American military? Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani has a good point when he asked, “Why are people being punished just for expressing their opinion peacefully?”

I know Americans and respect them. I am positive that they would not approve of the people of Kurdistan, among their truest friends, to be killed with American weapons and American money. Kurdish influence is what is holding the Iraqi government to Western principles rather than being entirely seduced by Iranian and ISIS extremism. I do not believe it is in American interests for the intersection of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran for the Kurdish voices and Kurdish influences to be expunged.

I urge you to take up America’s interests in this matter, and use whatever influence you can muster to stop this humanitarian disaster and complete destruction of US policy in the Iraq"

Sincerly,
....
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then YOU WIN !
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:54 am

As we try to find the truth behind this terrible act of betrayal, I read a great many articles and have just discovered this article in The Baghdad Post I can neither confirm or deny the contents of this article but I sincerely hope it is true:

Exclusive: Pavel Talabani expelled from PUK
October 18 2017 10:50 PM

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) expelled six of its members, following the withdrawal of its Peshmerga forces from Kirkuk governorate, a well-informed source told The Baghdad Post on Wednesday.

The source asserted that these members are:

Hero Khan

Lahor Shiekh Jinki

Aras Sheikh Jinki

Asu Mamend

Westa Rasoul

Pavel Talabani

This comes as Peshmerga forces were withdrawn from Kirkuk governorate after the Iraqi forces were deployed in the governorate, following negotiations with the Baghdad government and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani accused PUK of betraying Kurdistan and its people dream of independence.

http://www.thebaghdadpost.com/en/story/ ... PUK-source


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Pavel Talabani - I think that I have seen that ugly face before in Croydon South London - people of Croydon beware you may have traitors hiding among you :shock:

If photo not visible please use the direct link below:

http://www.thebaghdadpost.com/Content/U ... 014802.jpg
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Re: LAST NEWS ABOUT KIRKUK

PostAuthor: Piling » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:36 am

Not enough. They should be jailed.
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