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Kurdistan's PM denies accusations of plotting to control Mosul

The Prime Minister of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, Nechervan Barzani, denied the Baghdad government’s accusations that his government participated in a plot in which gunmen took control of large areas of the provinces of Nineveh, Diyala, Salahuddin and Kirkuk.

Barzani said in an interview with Al-Jazeera news channel that the political, economic and military failure of the federal government in Baghdad has contributed to the current crisis in Iraq.

The Kurdish official considered the central government in Baghdad’s accusations against the Kurdish government as unfounded, and said they were made to cover up the government’s failure to manage the country’s succession crises including its economic failure.

Barzani pointed out that the Kurdish government supports Arab Sunnis in Iraq and will provide them with shelter and humanitarian assistance because they are subjected to persecution and aggression. He pointed out that the region supported Iraqi Shias when they were subjected to injustice and aggression.

The Kurdistan Regional Government estimates the number of displaced Iraqis who fled clashes in the country and currently live in refugee camps in its territory to nearly 300,000 people.

Clashes have erupted between government forces backed by armed militias and volunteers, and tribal men along with members of the organisation of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

Gunmen seized control of vast areas in northwest and central Iraq, including Mosul, the country’s second largest city.

Barzani criticised what he called “accusations against Kurds” over the events in Mosul, saying it was a big lie and an attempt to create a rift between Kurds and Shias and hide facts from the Iraqi people. Barzani’s criticism came in response to remarks by the leader of the League of the Righteous, Qais Khazali, who accused the Kurdish government of coordinating with the gunmen who seized Mosul.

Khazali accused Barzani, Baathists and ISIS militants of plotting to control Mosul. Khazali who is known for his loyalty to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki held the Kurdish parties responsible for the safety of residents in areas outside the Kurdistan region which are controlled by Kurdish forces.

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