Confrontation feared between Iraqi, Kurdish forces

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The concerns surround an Iraqi force, known as Dijla Operations Command, which was formed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in June, and the Kurdish Peshmarga troops, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s security force, a Press TV correspondent reported from Erbil on Sunday.

The Dijla aimed to eliminate terrorists in Diyala, Kirkuk, and Salahaddin, the disputed provinces claimed by both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government.

Peshmarga is also stationed in the disputed areas.

Thousands of Peshmarga troops have been dispatched to the Kirkuk province following the deployment of the Dijla force there. The Peshmarga forces and the Iraqi police clashed in the province on Friday. One person was killed and seven others were wounded.

Kurdish leaders say the force will only bring about instability and the KRG President Masoud Barzani wants Baghdad to stop the Dijla.

“I think, to create the Dijla armed force is an organized plan to reject Kurdish rights. The Iraqi government has broken its promises [made] to [the] people. Nouri al-Maliki has made a unilateral decision of forming Dijla,” said Karwan Saleh, a member of Kurdistan parliament’s security committee.

According to the Iraqi constitution, the federal government has the authority to establish and manage armed forces to guarantee the security of Iraq. But the constitution also requires the Iraqi parliament’s consent before military commands are formed. Maliki had not sought this consent.

 

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