World Bulletin / News Desk
Kurdish Peshmerga forces entered Iraq’s northern city Kirkuk on the request of Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Kurdish Regional Government Prime Minister Nechervan Barzani said on Sunday.
Iraqi forces fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rebels in the Kirkuk region were decreasing, according to Barzani.
“If Peshmerga forces had not filled the gap of the collapsed army, the ISIL militants would have taken over the region completely,” Barzani said. “So no one should say that Peshmergas took the advantage to enter Kirkuk”.
According to Barzani’s statement, the “other terrorist organizations” supporting ISIL may have been members of Iraq’s socialist Ba’ath Party or members of local tribes.
“The entire world focused on the latest events in Iraq and became worried, the recent developments have also been very upsetting for the Kurdistan region,” Barzani said. “Maliki is the only one responsible for what has happened in Iraq during the recent days,” he said in reaction to claims the Kurdish forces had some involvement in the outbreak of the current violence.
ISIL, a formidable force inside Syria, has extended its reach into Iraq since Tuesday, when it seized Iraq's second largest city Mosul.
The group seized large swathes of western Iraq’s Anbar Province in January, including much of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, flashpoints of the US-led war in 2003.
Iraq has seen a marked increase in sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims in recent months, which the Iraqi government blames on ISIL.
Barzani also condemned the ISIL's kidnapping on Wednesday of 49 Turkish consulate staff and their relatives, and that of 31 Turkish truck drivers who were also seized last week as they delivered fuel to a power plant.
"The Kurdish Regional Government will assist the Turkish government in connection with the abduction of 49 of its nationals by ISIL militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul," stated Barzani.Last Mod: 16 Haziran 2014, 09:56