KDP forms an elite force ahead of a potential return to Kirkuk

January 6, 2019 at 2:10 pm

Erbil- The conclusion of a KDP-backed elite force, December, 2018 Photo: Asayish Media

KirkukNow-Kirkuk

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has formed a new elite special force, as the political party prepares for a potential return to Kirkuk, more than a year after it left the multi-ethnic province in the wake of the October 16, 2017 events.

The special force called (SWAT) is associated with the KDP’s security department in Kirkuk (Asayish) and takes orders directly from the Kurdistan Region’s National Security Council, according to Goran Dalo, spokesman to the Asayish.

“We formed a special elite force within the security directorate during the period we were out of Kirkuk. The force is highly-trained and well-equipped”, he added.

The force is taking orders from the Kurdistan Region’s National Security Council

The spokesman refused to reveal the size of the new force, but according to information obtained by (KirkukNow), the force is made up of 150 personnel.

Dalo indicated that “the SWAT force is taking orders from the Kurdistan Region’s National Security Council”, which is currently headed by Masroor Barzani, son of the KDP leader Massoud Barzani.

“The task of the force is protecting the lives of the residents and their properties, and if we were asked to return to Kirkuk we will return; however that doesn’t depend on the KDP, but it is up to the national security council”, according to the spokesman.

Erbil- The conclusion of a KDP-backed elite force, December, 2018  Photo: Asayish Media

(KirkukNow) has learned that the KDP-backed elite force has taken part in 110-day military training, and that all its recruits are originally members of the Asayish.

On October 16, 2017 Iraqi forces returned to all the territories disputed between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional government (KRG) in response to a referendum on independence held earlier in September by the Kurdistan Region authorities.

The KDP withdrew from these territories, including Kirkuk which it has often called “an occupied territory.”

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