Over 600 Kur­dish of­fi­cers on trial

“This may re­sult in sec­tar­ian con­flict”

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Zakaria Muhammed

The Head of the Di­jla (Ti­gris) Op­er­a­tions Com­mand, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Ab­dul-Amir Zaidi, has de­cided to put 600 Kur­dish of­fi­cers from the 16th Brigade of the Iraqi Army on trial. Zaidi, who wants to pun­ish the of­fi­cers for adopt­ing a neu­tral stance in is­sues aris­ing be­tween Pesh­marga forces and the Iraqi Army, is to charge the of­fi­cers with fail­ing to obey an or­der.

The Head of the Di­jla (Ti­gris) Op­er­a­tions Com­mand, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Ab­dul-Amir Zaidi, has de­cided to put 600 Kur­dish of­fi­cers from the 16th Brigade of the Iraqi Army on trial. Zaidi, who wants to pun­ish the of­fi­cers for adopt­ing a neu­tral stance in is­sues aris­ing be­tween Pesh­marga forces and the Iraqi Army, is to charge the of­fi­cers with fail­ing to obey an or­der.

The Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the Min­istry for Pesh­marga, Jabar Yawar, has ac­cused Zaidi of sab­o­tag­ing at­tempts at re­solv­ing out­stand­ing is­sues be­tween the KRG and Bagh­dad.

“Zaidi is plan­ning to re­place Kur­dish of­fi­cer in the 16th brigade of the Iraqi Army with Shi­ite of­fi­cers, which may re­sult in sec­tar­ian con­flict”, Yawar warned.

Yawar ex­pressed sur­prise at the un­com­pro­mis­ing tone of state­ments de­liv­ered by Iraqi of­fi­cials, which he de­scribed as deliberate at­tempts at un­der­min­ing se­cu­rity and the po­lit­i­cal process in Iraq.

Yawar asked Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter, Nuri al-Ma­liki, to con­demn Zaidi’s de­ci­sion.

The Iraqi Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment have agreed on the con­tin­ued pres­ence of the 16th Brigade in Kirkuk prov­ince un­til fur­ther no­tice.

The 16th Brigade, which con­sists of Kur­dish of­fi­cers and sol­diers, is based in Kirkuk and its dis­puted sur­round­ing ar­eas to pro­tect the pop­u­lace from ter­ror­ist at­tacks. The Brigade’s of­fi­cers have been faced with nu­mer­ous dif­fi­cul­ties as a re­sult of Zaidi’s Di­jla op­er­a­tions com­mand, whose aim it is to ex­pel them from the area.

The Di­jla Op­er­a­tions Com­mand was in­tro­duced by the Iraq gov­ern­ment in June 2012 to serve as an um­brella com­mand for se­cu­rity and po­lice forces in Kirkuk, Diyala and Sala­haddin, all of which are dis­puted ter­ri­to­ries to which both Bagh­dad and the KRG lay claim.

This is by no means the first time the KRG has had to call for the ac­tiv­i­ties of the Di­jla Op­er­a­tions Com­mand to cease due to their desta­bi­liz­ing ef­fect on the re­gion.

Pe­sham­rga Min­istry Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, Jab­bar Yawar speaks to re­porters.

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