The Turkmen Front and Kirkuk’s Arab Bloc reject any attempt to form military operation rooms in Kirkuk, and say that the province’s security is “improving” and that there is no need for joint operation rooms.
At a press conference held by the two political bodies today (23 August 2020), and which KirkukNow attended, they stressed their objection to setting up a joint operation room, and accused the Peshmerga Forces of “kidnappings and destroying houses at Arab villages.”
Kirkuk’s security conditions are excellent, and Kirkuk doesn’t need a joint operation room. Any changes will affect Kirkuk negatively
Two members of Iraqi Parliament, Arshad Salehi and Khalid Mafraji, spoke on behalf of parts of the Arab and Turkmen communities in Kirkuk, claiming that “Kirkuk’s security conditions are excellent, and Kirkuk doesn’t need a joint operation room. Any changes will affect Kirkuk negatively.”
“Setting up the joint coordination centres is a violation of the law and the decisions taken by the Iraqi Parliament, which forbids the presence of any force other than the federal forces.”
The press conference came after a meeting between the two aforementioned MPs and Sa’d Habiya, commander of the Joint Operations.
Arab villages were being destroyed by those forces
In a separate statement issued today, the Arab Bloc of Kirkuk stresses: “In light of our previous experience when for years other forces were controlling the province, that operation room is not necessary. Because in that period, the Arab villages were being destroyed by those forces, many people were going missing and corpses of unidentified individuals were being thrown on the streets.”
The date and locations for the coordination centres have not been determined yet. The centres are meant to fill the security vacuum in the disputed areas, not for the return of Peshmerga forces to those areas.
Six joint coordination centres are planned to be set up once the locations are determined.