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Tension, chaotic conditions beefing up in Kirkuk
Sulaymaniyeh, Iraqi Kurdistan Prov, April 18, IRNA -- Keeping in mind
the contrasting political directions adopted by the two major Kurdish
political parties in Kirkuk, it is easy to predict the emergence of
tension and chaotic conditions in there in near future.
Both the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan
Democratic Party (KDP) have maintained their strong stances,
insisting that Kirkuk should be included in their self-declared,
Thus, the oil-rich city in Iraq's Kurdistan Province has become a
scene for an internal power struggle.
There are two probable solutions to this puzzle presently. One
is dividing the city into two parts, giving each to one party, and the
second, a military clash between the PUK and the KDP, that can
harbinger quite unfavorable aftermaths for the Iraqi Kurds and the
whole Kurdish population in the Mideast region.
Meanwhile, as the leaders of the PUK and the KDP are engaged in a
power struggle aimed at securing their partisan influence over Kirkuk,
the Turkmen and Arab tribes residing in the city are totally opposed
to leaving the governance of Kirkuk up to the Kurds.
Furthermore, Kirkuk has currently two governors and two
governorate buildings, and is thus already a city divided into two
different regions, while the PUK and KDP leaders have not kept in
account in their calculations either the Turkmens, that are backed
by Turkey, or the Arabs, that consider themselves as superiors
Both the PUK-backed Governor of Kirkuk Razgar Ali, who was
once been overthrown by the US forces, and the KDP-backed Governor of
the city Nezameddin Goli, consider themselves as the legitimate
ruler of the whole city.
But neither the Turkmens, nor the Arabs residing there, accept
the legitimacy of either of them, and the American forces, that are
currently the strongest decision makers in Iraq, have chosen to
remain silent observers of this power struggle for the time being.
The Kurds interpret the temporary silence of the Americans in
Kirkuk developments as their policy aimed at proving that neither
party is capable of restoring peace and stability in the region, and
to throw both out eventually and appoint their own ruler there.
Meanwhile, the other Kurdish parties, too, want their fair shares
in ruling over Kirkuk, each declaring their objection toward the
policies applied by the supporters of Talabani and the Barzani backed
The Secretary General of the Iraqi Kurdistan's Socialist
Democratic Party Mohammad Haji Mahmoud told IRNA here in Sulaymaniyeh
on Friday that the situation is far worse and more chaotic than
imagined in Kirkuk.
He added, "Both the PUK and the KDP are struggling to secure a
greater share of the political power and the city's control and this
has practically pushed Kirkuk towards quite chaotic conditions."
He said, "the severeness of crisis and the level of differences of
opinions in Kirkuk is so high that if the US forces were absent the
occurrence of armed clashes between the PUK and the KDP forces over
securing full control of Kirkuk was to be taken for granted."
Haji Mahmoud further elaborated, "the leaders of these two parties
have gone so far in their rivalries with each other that the
probability of US military intervention and getting kicked out of all
Kurds from Kirkuk is expected any moment."
The members of political bureaus of the PUK and the KDP gathered
in Salaheddin on Thursday night to try to solve their differences
over the rulership issue in Kirkuk.
The major achievement of that gathering, according to the Kurdish
masse media, was an agreement over shared rulership of the PUK and
the KDP in Kirkuk, but no further details of the Salaheddin talks has
been revealed yet.
The second largest oil field in the Middle East, Kirkuk, has a
mixed one million population of Kurds, Turkmens, and Arabs, each
claiming to be the majority there, and legitimate for ruling over the
Due to the severeness of ethnic problems and serious differences
of opinion, plus the economic importance of Kirkuk, it was initially
decided to leave the governance of Kirkuk up to the Americans, until
the central Iraqi government would take lead of the Affairs in
Same sensitivities led to the PUK's decision to leave Kirkuk
following the fall of the city, but the insistence of the rival KDP
party, that had for many years propagated the idea of "Kirkuk, the
heart of Kurdistan," intrigued the PUK, too, to appoint its own
governor in the city and to return its forces back to Kirkuk.