Iraqi and Kurdish Forces Trade Accusations over Buildup
Monday: 1 Killed, 4 Wounded
Spokespersons for the central Iraqi and Kurdish Regional governments exchanged accusations that the other government is reinforcing troops in a disputed area of northern Iraq. A spokesman for the Peshmerga Ministry said that the central government was giving their Arab counterparts updated weaponry and considered that an "act of war." The Iraqi government made similar accusations and further complained over the "nature of statements" made by the Kurds. The Peshmerga are former Kurdish fighters now entrusted with security concerns in Kurdish regions in and outside official Kurdistan.
The current standoff began when Baghdad established a new operation command to cover Kirkuk, Salah ad Din and Diyala provinces. Dijla (Tigris) Operations Command took over Camp Ashraf, the former site of a Mujahedeen al-Khalq (M.E.K.) refugee camp, in September and was to have been staffed with Interior Ministry personnel. From the beginning, the Kurds protested the new command as an unnecessary intrusion. In mid-November, tensions escalated when clashes broke out at a politician’s home in Tuz Khormato. Since then, troops from both sides have been stationed at key points separating Kurdish areas from Arab ones.
Meanwhile, one Iraqi was killed and four more were wounded in new attacks.
In Mosul, a policeman was killed.
A policeman and a civilian were wounded in a mortar attack in Kirkuk.
In Baquba, a bomb wounded two civilians.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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