Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

IMIS seeks to drive wedge between PM, Kurdish parties

The Iranian Militias in Iraq and Syria (IMIS) has been escalating the situation against political parties that raised the flag of Kurdistan at their offices in Kirkuk.

Ali al-Husseini, the IMIS spokesperson, said security forces will comply to directives by Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Kirkuk’s governor in case parties refused to bring down the Kurdish flag and raise the flag of Iraq while bringing violators to justice.

In a statement, Al-Husseini claimed that raising the flag of Kurdistan provoked and angered residents of the governorate, and is considered an illegal action, therefore, violators must be brought to justice and punished for their violations.

He also pointed out that some headquarters of political parties adhered to Abdul-Mahdi’s decision and replaced the flag of Kurdistan with the Iraqi flag, however, some parties are still raising the Kurdish flag.

The Iraqi Prime Minister has called on the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to lower the Kurdistan flag in Kirkuk, saying that hoisting the banner was “unconstitutional.”

"Kirkuk is a disputed city and located outside the borders that the constitution has drawn for the Kurdistan Region,” Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said in a published statement on Wednesday. 

“The statute of the disputed areas will remain as such and no changes will be made until it is decided on through the constitution,” he said. 

The PUK on Tuesday night raised the flag of Kurdistan over their offices in the disputed city, in defiance of a ban imposed when federal forces took control of the province in October 2017.

Kirkuk is part of the multi-ethnic disputed areas defined under Article 140 of the constitution that stipulate their status should be resolved via a referendum to determine whether these areas will remain part of federal Iraq or be absorbed by the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.

When first deciding to raise the Kurdistan banner alongside the Iraqi one in Kirkuk for Newroz in March 2017, the Kurdish leadership in the city argued that both flags should be represented at governmental buildings until its status is resolved.