Military leaders of Iraq and the country’s autonomous Kurdish region are meeting today in Baghdad to defuse a military standoff between Baghdad and Arbil governments over oil-rich disputed areas separating Kurdistan from rest of Iraq. On Saturday, the Kurdish government sent reinforcement to the disputed region after Baghdad began deployment of its new Dijla Operations Command nearby.
“If they (Iraqi army) overstep the line, we will strike them,” said Anwar Haji Othman, deputy minister for Kurdish military affairs, on Saturday. (Reuters, 25 November)
Kurds say the Dijla Operations Command is a threat to them and an attempt by Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki to seize control over the oil rich territories along the internal border that demarcates the Kurdish region.
Kurdish President Massoud Barzani on Saturday turned down an invitation from Shiite leader Moqtada Al Sadr to meet with Iraqi premier Nouri al-Maliki to discuss the situation. Barzani accuses Maliki of “constantly disregarding the (Iraqi) constitution.” (Reuters)
Disputed Kurdish/Iraqi Areas:
Pink: Part of the Kurdish Regional Government since 1991.Gold: Under the control of central government.
Photo credit: Kurdish President Massoud Barzani (R) and Iraqi Premier Nouri al-Maliki (Reuters)Map credit: Wikipedia