Barzani visits Kirkuk to inspect peshmarga units
KIRKUK - Agence France-PresseMasoud Barzani, the president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), inspected Kurdish peshmarga security forces yesterday in Kirkuk, a Kurdish general said.
“The president of the Kurdistan region of Iraq [Barzani] inspected peshmarga units located on the outskirts of Kirkuk,” peshmarga brigade commander Major General Shirko Rauf said. The visit may increase already-high tension with Baghdad, which has seen both sides deploy military reinforcements to areas in north Iraq. According to Rauf, Barzani emphasized to peshmarga forces “the importance of maintaining brotherhood and peace and serving all the [residents] of Kirkuk.”
The province is part of a swathe of territory in north Iraq that Kurdish leaders want to incorporate into their autonomous region, over Baghdad’s strong objections.