Nearly 100 offices of Kurdish parties and organisations destroyed or looted in disputed territories

November 6, 2017 at 7:18 pm

Iraqi forces use a tractor to damage a poster of Iraqi Kurdish president Massud Barzani on the southern outskirts of Kirkuk on October 16, 2017. AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

Kirkuknow reporters have established that in Kirkuk and other disputed territories nearly 100 offices of Kurdish political parties and organizations have been targeted in less than a week after the Iraqi security forces and the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) launched an operation on October 16 and retook these areas from the Kurdish peshmerga forces.

Kirkuknow reporters in Kirkuk, Nineveh, Diyala and Tuz Khomrato have investigated the events on the ground where the houses of Kurdish officials and the party offices have either been taken over, burnt or looted without any group taking responsibility.

Kirkuk and Tuz Khormato 

The activities of Kurdish parties in Kirkuk have been restricted since October 16 when the Iraqi forces returned to the city. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) alone has lost 16 party offices and 28 offices belonging to organisations affiliated with it, in Kirkuk and areas around Kirkuk according to Adnan Kirkuki a top KDP official in Kirkuk.

However, in Tuz Khomrato the situation has utterly changed and Kurdish parties have no activities in the city anymore. Over 50 offices of NGOs, political parties have been looted, burnt or taken over in Kirkuk, Dibis and Daquq.  Kirkuki says the KDP offices in Kirkuk have been taken over by PMF.

Kirkuknow investigation has revealed that the offices of Kurdistan Communist Party and their TV station Rega have been looted in Kirkuk. Other parties such as Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal), Islamic Movement (KIM),  Change Movement ( Gorran), Freedom Movement close to the Kurdistan Workers Party have been looted. A number of Turkmen party offices deemed close to the Kurds have been taken over or looted.

According to data from the mayoral office in Tuz Khormato, where the Kurdish parties have ceased to exist, four offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), KDP, Komal, Communist and Freedom Movement of the PKK have either been burnt or detonated.

Diyala

Iraqi forces retook these areas on October 17 and the offices of the Kurdish parties have suffered the least damage compare to other disputed areas.

Kirkuknow has learned that only the PUK, the communist, and the KIU have partially returned to Khanaqin and no KDP official or organizations have returned to the area.

In Jalwla, Qaratappa, and Mandali no Kurdish party has returned and over 10 offices of the PUK and KDP mainly have been occupied by the Iraqi forces.

Nineveh

In Nineveh, no Kurdish party has returned to either Mosul or other areas considered disputed under the iraqi constitution. Some of the bases of the Kurdish parties have either been burnt or looted.

The tension in the area is still high where peshmerga forces have taken up position against the Iraqi forces in several points.

The offices of the PUK and the KDP in Sinjar, Telkeyef, Makhmour, Bashik have been taken over by the PMF forces.

Kurdish forces took over the security of the disputed areas in June 2014 after thousands of Iraqi forces fled the battlefield as Islamic State militants swooped across northern Iraq.

Iraq High Human Rights Council delegations have visited the disputed areas to inquire about the abuses that took place. The commission is calling on the central government to investigate the abuses by forming a committee to assess the damage and compensate the victims.

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