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Iraq: Threat of renewed conflict as tensions rise over Kirkuk

January 28, 2019 at 12:06 pm

Turkmen march with flags on the 12th day of protests over the alleged electoral fraud in general election, in front of the city hall in Kirkuk, Iraq on 24 May 2018 [Ali Mukarrem Garip/Anadolu Agency]

Tension between the Iraqi political circles including the central government in Baghdad, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraqi Turkmen are threatening renewed conflict in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

The Turkmen in particular have been suspicious of a deal being struck between the central government and the KRG to share power in the city.

Leader of the Turkmen Front, MP Hassan Tauran told Al-Khaleej Online that “recently leaked information indicates the existence of political agreements between Baghdad and the Kurdistan region regarding Kirkuk, to rearrange the situation in accordance with the Kurdish desire to turn the situation to what it was before the referendum.”

“The governments of Erbil and Baghdad should leave the people of Kirkuk to decide their fate and agree on how to deal with their files according to decades of coexistence between the city’s components, otherwise entering the city into regional conflict will destabilise the already fragile security in it, and may lead to chaos that cannot be controlled.”

Daesh controlled large swathes of land in northern Iraq, including Kirkuk, in 2014. However, following fierce fighting, Kurdish forces captured the area and imposed a fait accompli in it.

Iraq Turkmen: Baghdad does not want to resolve Kirkuk land ownership dispute