TSC IntelBrief Cited by Middle East Eye: ‘I Would Go Tomorrow’: Inside Kirkuk After the Changeover
November 13, 2017
Middle East Eye
By: Lizzie Porter
…Masoud Barzani, leader of the KDP, has tried to frame the takeover of Kirkuk as an Iranian plot. “The operation to take over Kirkuk was led by the Iranians with the knowledge of the US and British officials,” he told Newsweek magazine earlier this month…
The KDP also framed the takeover as an “Arabisation” of Kirkuk, inflammatory because it likens the current operation to the Baath Party’s mass population displacements of Kurds, Turkmen and Assyrians in the 1970s.
Although some within the PUK have denied a handover of Kirkuk, analysts believe the party played a central role, under Iranian pressure. The party “allowed Baghdad to take large sections of Kirkuk without a fight by negotiating a deal that saw PUK peshmerga simply hand their positions over to Iraqi forces,” according to The Soufan Group, a New York-based intelligence firm …
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