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Iraq parliament demands troops go to areas disputed with Kurds

Iraqi soldiers pictured on a Russian-made T-72 tank as they advance towards the city of al-Sharqat, north of Baghdad, on September 20, 2017
AFP

Baghdad (AFP) – Iraq’s parliament demanded Monday that troops be sent to disputed areas in the north controlled by the Kurds since 2003 as the autonomous Kurdish area staged a referendum on independence.

“Parliament demands that the head of the army (Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi) deploy forces in all of the zones the autonomous region of Kurdistan has taken control of since 2003,” a resolution said. 

Under Iraq’s constitution, the government is obliged to comply with the parliamentary vote.

The zones disputed between the Kurds and the federal government in Baghdad are not part of the three provinces in northern Iraq that form the autonomous Kurdish area.

The disputed areas are the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, as well as parts of Nineveh, Diyala and Salaheddin provinces.

Most of the disputed areas were conquered by Kurdish peshmerga forces in 2014 in the chaos that followed a sweeping offensive by the Islamic State group.

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