World Bulletin/News Desk
Iraqi Turkmen are willing to help Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in Iraq’s Kirkuk city if the central government treats them equally, the head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front Arshad al-Salihi said Friday.
Peshmerga forces of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government have been defending Kirkuk, an oil rich city in Northern Iraq, for months from relentless attacks by the ISIL fighters.
“We have some demands for Iraqi central government,” al-Salihi told The Anadolu Agency.
He said his Turkmen militias too must get weapons and salaries from the Iraqi central government just like the Kurdish Peshmerga forces get. “We want the same rights for Iraqi Turkmens too,” he said.
The head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front said that there were many armed volunteers willing to fight, but they were waiting for a legal status to be bestowed on them by the Iraqi central government that would enable them to form an organization.
He said Iraqi Turkmen want the volunteers to not become just militias, but a national security force.
Separately, the spokesperson for the Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk, General Hiva Abdullah, said that the ISIL militants were preparing for a new attack on the city.
Abdullah said his forces needed more heavy weapons to face the militants.
He acknowledged that the international coalition had helped his Peshmerga with weapons, but he said they were yet to get the same level of support from Baghdad.
At least 10 Peshmerga and 80 ISIL militants were killed Thursday in clashes 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) south of Kirkuk in the Mektep Halit region.
The Iraqi army and Peshmerga have been battling the ISIL in Iraq since mid-June, when the group took control of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. The group is now said to be in control of large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.
Last Mod: 29 Kasım 2014, 10:48