Baghdad moves to take Kirkuk by force

If Iraq implodes into civil war - again - it'll happen in the next few days.

Iraqi forces are advancing towards Kurdish-held sites in Kirkuk province.
They intend to take control of oil fields and an airbase in the disputed region, Kurdish security officials say.

The Kurds can't give up the Kirkuk oilfields without giving up the revenue required to fund an independent state.

The Iraqi troops were advancing alongside government-backed Shia militias south of Kirkuk city, Kurdish officials reported.

The Iraqi government says its aim is to "secure bases" and "federal installations" but "co-operate" with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

Hemin Hawrami, an aide to Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, tweeted that Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were "in full control" of the airbase.

He earlier said Kurdish leaders rejected the "military option" but were "ready to defend" the city against outside forces.

Baghdad has accused the Kurdistan administration of deploying outside fighters to Kirkuk, including from the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which it said was akin to a declaration of war.

The Iraqi Kurds deny this.

The peshmerga are much tougher and more numerous than ISIS was, but stronger than Baghdad...?

Hemin Hawrami, senior assistant to Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani, said in a post on Twitter that Peshmerga forces had been ordered "not to initiate any war, but if any advancing militia starts shooting", then they had the "green light to use every power" to respond.

Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford, reporting from Erbil, said that the Kurdish governor of Kirkuk had made a call to arms, "saying anybody with a weapon should take it up and defend the city".

Also, the Kurds defeating Baghdad would just mean Tehran and Ankara would attack.

Kirkuk might not be the only place that Baghdad is moving.

The Iraqi forces and mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi have started to move towards the Peshmerga controlled areas south and west of Kirkuk Monday night, Iraqi and Kurdish officials have

Clashes erupted on the Taza Khurmatu front, south of Kirkuk, a Peshmerga commander told Rudaw, with both sides exchanging fire involving heavy weaponry.

Kamil Salayi, Kirkuk mayor, told Rudaw that the situation is now calm in Taza Khurmatu. He said it was the Iraqi forces who first initiated the clashes there.

Peshmerga claim that they destroyed four Iraqi vehicles. A Kurdish official said that they have pushed back Iraqi forces twice since the fighting began the two sides in Taza Khurmatu.

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Shockwave's picture

The Kurds could declare independence after the vote.

With so many different parties involved and the oil it is unpredictable.

Somehow I do favor Kurdish independence.

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6 users have voted.

The political revolution continues

Lookout's picture

(along with Iran) against ISIS. Now it's time to throw them under the bus and keep mum about it all.

Seems to me like the Kurds could defeat the Iraqi troops? At least they were more effective against ISIS. Of course with Turkey and Iran fighting against them they might not be able to hold their ground. Sadly, I'm willing to bet we sit by idle.

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2 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Lookout

of other countries' problems. We just make them worse, and create ruin and devastation with the intent of grabbing off any available resources.

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2 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Lookout's picture

@TheOtherMaven

We never should have gone there in the first place. What I was trying to say is we don't support our allies even with diplomacy when it is inconvenient.

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

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3 users have voted.

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit own Jack. I think the latter, I also think the Iraqi government might continue the push.

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1 user has voted.
Amanda Matthews's picture

Their bravery and fighting skills that was instrumental in defeating ISIS will count for nothing. We (and everyone else) will abandon the Kurds yet again.

We DO need to get the hell out of the Middle East but there is a debt owed to the Kurds. They fought with everything they had in them to free Iraq and Syria from ISIS. When is anybody going to stand by them? And what can be done?

I sure don’t have any suggestions. I don't know how this situation can be peacefully resolved. That’s waaaaayyyy above my pay grade.

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1 user has voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

@Amanda Matthews @Amanda Matthews

It is sickening - but I keep thinking that if the US PTB didn't (at the least) approve of this, would it be happening? Evil is essentially anti-life, and can never be trusted...

Does it come down to Russia saving them/us, in the tight-rope-balanced position they stand, waiting for The Psychopaths That Be to start flinging nukes?

If Europe would strongly pull away from the US and all sane countries pull their currency use away, that might help save the world, at a far lesser cost than not doing so, because where this is heading is not survivable for anyone...

Edit: should have mentioned that I've read that the territory of the Kurds runs right down Syria and that the PTB want it, not just to steal the fossil-fuels but as a foot-hold from which to take Syria away from their people. An invasion there gives them an excuse, not to mention the fact that the US P&PTB( are well-known as creating their own excuses for attacks and invasions of their own, or by using proxies...

So I have suspicions regarding this in that area, as well.

*P&PTB = Psychopaths and Parasites That Be, of course.

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.