Peshmergas deployed to fill Kirkuk security vacuum

Peshmarga forces

KT News:

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been sent to the outskirts of Kirkuk to protect local citizens from sectarian violence. The threat of terrorist attack has increased with the deepening dispute between Iraq’s Sunni population and the Maliki government. Last week dozens were killed and injured in Kirkuk in yet another bombing.

According to the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, the move was coordinated with the governor of Kirkuk in response to a retreat from the city by Iraqi forces.

In a statement, the Ministry of Peshmerga explained: “The Iraqi army has been abandoning the majority of its barracks and bases affiliated with Squad 5 in Diyala, Squad 4 in Salahuddin and Squad 12 in Kirkuk and Ninevah, especially at night, for fear of being attacked by armed groups.”

The statement continued that this “has led to a [security] vacuum in the areas surrounding the city and the affiliated townships, particularly in the outskirts of Kirkuk … In order to protect the lives of citizens of all national, societal, religious and sectarian backgrounds, and following a deliberation with the governor of Kirkuk, the Kurdistan peshmerga forces will fill the [security] vacuum in general and the vacuum in the areas surrounding Kirkuk in particular”.

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