Kirkuk acting governor: Kirkuk security dossier should be handled by federal forces

February 10, 2019 at 10:50 am

Kirkuk- A press conference held by Kirkuk acting governor Rakan al-Jiburi, February 9, 2019 Photo: Omer al-Hilali

KirkukNow

Acting governor of Kirkuk Rakan Saeed al-Jiburi has emphasized that the Kirkuk administration has not been informed about any  new agreements concerning the return of Kurdish Peshmarga forces to the province, describing recent reports as “inaccurate”.

In a press conference held at the headquarters of the Arab political council in Kirkuk on Saturday February 9th, al-Jiburi said, “The security dossier of the province should be handled by federal government”, noting that “Iraqi federal forces proved its professionalism in running the dossier.”

He emphasized that the administration is “not aware of any agreements regarding the possible return of Peshmarga forces to Kirkuk.”

The Kurdish Peshmarga forces which were deployed to territories disputed between the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan regional government, including Kirkuk, in mid-2014 were forced to pull out after Iraqi security forces retook control of these areas on October 16, 2017.

Diyala- Kurdish Peshmarga forces stationed near Khanaqin, 2014 Photo: Hawre Azad

Al-Jiburi, who is also head of the security committee in the province reiterated that “the security situation is improving, and assassinations have notably decreased.”

He added that “Islamic State militant activities are centered in southern areas of Kirkuk”, indicating that they operate in groups which could be confronted with military operations.”

The Islamic State (IS) group controlled southern and southwestern areas in Kirkuk; their last stronghold was the town of Hawija which was recaptured by Iraqi federal forces in 2017.

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