In pictures: Fears of conflict for the resources beneath Kirkuk
March 18, 2013
But Kirkuk is still claimed by both Arabs and Kurds, and the last decade has seen endless, tense political arguments about how to resolve the dispute.
In town, shopping in the markets, the people express a weary contempt for their politicians and for the long-unresolved conflict. “Every ethnicity is looking for the oil,” says one, a teacher. “All the problems are with the oil. If we didn’t have???
The people of Kirkuk remember when the American soldiers, fighting alongside peshmerga, first arrived in the city ten years ago. Kurds in particular saw this as a glorious moment, the end of decades of repression by Saddam Hussein, which included forced d???
General Sherko Fateeh Shwani, who commands the Kurdish units around the Kirkuk said the founding of the Tigris Operations Command was a Iraq government saying ‘We will control the city by force’,. Kurds increased their military presence in the area fr???
The new military deployment came after several months of growing friction between the government in Baghdad and the Kurdish authorities, who have been increasingly assertive about controlling access to oil resources under their land, and even in areas who???
Kurdish peshmerga forces train at a base just outside of Kirkuk City. Ten years after toppling the common enemy in Saddam Hussein, long-standing grudges are flaring between Kurdish peshmerga soldiers and Iraqi government forces called the Tigris Operation???
There have been occasional shoot-outs between the two sides in recent months, and many predict a descent into a long-feared war for control of the oil-rich and strategically important part of the country.
“There were forces here before, but just a few with light weapons. Now, we have more weapons and a brigade stationed here,” says Lieutenant Hamid Nowsher, a platoon commander. “And the Iraqi army used to have nine soldiers over there. Now they have ???
The city of Kirkuk, capital of Kirkuk province, is a rich ethnic mix, with its Arabic, Kurdish, Turkoman and other traditions evident in the mix of ancient architecture on the citadel, the languages shouted by market vendors in the bazaar and in the varie???
Gen Shwani says the break in co-ordinating and sharing intelligence with the Iraqi army, and he said that this was probably the reason for a recent spike in attacks by terror groups long active in the area.
These two military forces were not always faced against each other. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, against whom Kurdish guerrillas fought a bitter resistance, the two armies joined together to fight growing terrorism. But that alliance has frayed amid???