Kirkuk Governor: Kirkuk Operational Command Withdrawal was a Mistake

January 30, 2018 at 8:55 pm

Kirkuk 2013: Military parade of Iraqi Army in Kirkuk. Photo: KirkukNow

Omer Jawad

Kirkuk governor described Operational Command withdrawal from the province as “wrong” and not co-ordinated with the province administration assuring that redeployment of the forces led to security breaches.

Deputy governor, Rakan Said, blamed Commander-in-Chief (Heider al-Abadi) and the Iraqi Ministry of Defence for the security breaches in Hawija sub-district areas after the withdrawal of Operational Command and deployment of Federal Police. He also confirmed that the General Command did not consult the province administration and the High Security Commission in Kirkuk.

Said, in a talk to some media outlets including KirkukNow, said that “High Security Commission with Kirkuk, whose head is the governor, asked Military Commander-in-Chief and Ministry of Defence to keep Kirkuk Operational Command in the province because it treated citizens in a good way and supported people and organized public affairs in an excellent way and it acquired experience and a big database of information since this command was formed before liberating areas that were occupied by ISIS in and outside Kirkuk.”

He also added “Commander-in-Chief did not take into consideration consulting Kirkuk administration and the High Security Commission in the province in regard of keeping Kirkuk Operational Command because it includes professional officers and the Commander of these forces General Ali Fadhil Omran is a competent man who managed to impose security in the area with very small forces and responded to all people’s demands in Kirkuk.”

Said also confirmed that “replacing the Military forces led to security breaches where ISIS exploited the gaps of the forces withdrawal and the deployment of other forces” adding that “ISIS have attacked some points in Hawija sub-district in the replacement process. And this replacement process have delayed the return of IDPs to areas in Hawija sub-district since the new forces did not allow us to return the IDPs till it is ready and this might take three weeks.”

Said concluded saying; “recent raids in Hawija sub-district were not effective since they did not listen to the opinions of previous security commanders and tribal forces existing in the area.” He also referred to security breached to the south and west of Kirkuk province saying that “ISIS is carrying out attacks in Al-Abbasi and Al-Zab sub-districts through a tunnel and some other breaches around the sub-district where ISIS members disappear after these attacks and it is worrying.”

Three different sources have informed KirkukNow the departure of Kirkuk Operational Command from the province and hand all its bases to Federal Police and this departure is ordered by high officials from Baghdad.

Related to the same issue, a source from the Military Operational Command in Kirkuk told KirkukNow that: “high military officials in Baghdad ordered Kirkuk Operational Command to depart the province and hand all its bases to Federal Police. The Commander of the forces, general Ali Fadhil Omran, will be in the last convoy leaving Kirkuk.”

The source that asked to not reveal his name said: “no Iraqi soldier will stay in Kirkuk as of Sunday January 29, 2018.”

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