World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Said noted that the Peshmerga withdrawal had been carried out as a direct result of joint operations conducted in mid-October by Iraqi army, police and Hashd al-Shaabi forces.
According to Said, Peshmerga forces had "secured" these areas after the Iraqi army left vast tracts of territory to the ISIL terrorist group in mid-2014.
"For over three years, the Peshmerga had total control of the area from [northern Iraq’s] Sinjar district to the city of Mosul to Diyala's Hanekin district," he said.
"According to Iraq’s constitution, joint [federal/Peshmerga] security forces should provide security in Kirkuk and in other disputed areas,” he said.
“But now, only the Iraqi army and the Hashd al-Shaabi are performing this function," Said added.
Saying many local families had fled to KRG-controlled areas after military operations in mid-October, Said asserted that members of KRG President Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party now feared for their safety and were unable to return to their homes.
Upon the instruction of Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, federal forces launched military operations on Oct. 16 with a view to securing Iraq’s oil-rich Kirkuk province and other territories “disputed” between the KRG and Baghdad.
The Peshmerga, which had held these territories since mid-2014, withdrew without incident, leaving them to Iraqi federal forces.
During the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Kurdish Peshmerga forces seized Kirkuk, prompting an influx of Kurds into the city.
Article 140 of Iraq’s 2005 constitution calls for Kurds who were forced to leave Kirkuk under former President Saddam Hussein to be allowed to return. It also calls for a popular referendum to determine whether Kirkuk should fall within Iraq’s Kurdish region.
Due to deep-seated political sensitivities, however, Article 140 has yet to be implemented.
Iraq suffers from acute financial crisis due to dropped oil prices and anti-terrorism expenses
Thousands of supporters poured into the streets of the capital island Male on Friday night and continued their protest rally till early Saturday, the joint opposition said in a statement issued in Colombo.
Also suspended were the accounts of its parent organization, Strategic Communication Laboratories, as well as those of University of Cambridge psychologist Aleksandr Kogan and Christopher Wylie, who runs Eunoia Technologies.
Andrew McCabe was accused of misleading investigators on Clinton Foundation corruption case
Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell told reporters after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday that the U.S. also wants to see a resumption of talks to reunify the ethnically divided island nation.
"There were seven people aboard, they are all believed to be dead," the official said, adding they were US service members.
A doctor at the private Goyal Hospital told AFP Friday that Clinton had undergone screening after suffering pain in her right hand following a fall.
The alliance is "dealing with the issue around this and in cyber and working to define an understanding of what would be a trigger for Article 5," General Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of NATO forces in Europe, told a US Senate committee.
Speaking to reporters as he returned from a trip to Oman, Afghanistan and Bahrain, Mattis said officials he met with had expressed frequent concerns about Iranian behavior.
The newspaper said that Trump is discussing potential replacements for McMaster, but is willing to take his time because he wants to avoid humiliating him as well as to have a successor ready.
19 individuals, 5 entities blacklisted by Washington
Saeb Erekat slams recent White House meeting on Gaza's deteriorating humanitarian situation
Salim al-Jabouri says Turkey and Iraq will defeat terrorism together through 'full cooperation'
Oil is the lifeblood of OPEC member Venezuela's economy, but a major wave of political unrest that shows no sign of abating has slashed output.