Kurds Storm Parliament After President Resigns; 12 Killed in Iraq

Kurdish President Masoud Barzani resigned from the office he has held since 2005 during a speech about the September independence referendum, the subsequent failure of allies to support it, and the eventual attack by Iraqi forces that led to the shrinkage of Kurdish-held territory. Barzani also began to delegate his powers to others, including the Kurdish prime minister, Parliament, and the judiciary. Protesters in Erbil stormed Parliament after the announcement. There were several other demonstrations across Kurdistan as well.

Barzani had long promised not to run for president again, but continued in the post even after his term was to have expired first in 2013. An extension from Parliament allowed him to remain in office until 2015, but political wrangling kept him at his post until now. With the Kurdish elections that were scheduled for Wednesday postponed, Parliament would have been forced to extend his presidency again, but chose not to. He vows to remain politically active.

A deal has may been reached between Peshmerga and Iraqi forces over the fate of the Faysh Khabur border crossing between Syria and Kurdistan, but some officials are denying it. In either case, it did not stop the displacement of 10,000 residents who were fleeing artillery fire by Iraqi and militia forces. Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders criticized the fighting as it threatens their work by stopping the delivery of aid to Syria.

 

At least 12 were killed, and three were wounded:

A blast in Baghdad killed one person and wounded three others.

Airstrikes on Qaim killed seven militants including a commander.

Four militants were killed near Yirbiya.

Read more by Margaret Griffis

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has
been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.