Iraqi Parliament Authorizes PM to Deploy Troops in Kurdish-Controlled Kirkuk

The Iraqi parliament has given a “mandate” to Prime Minister Haider Abadi to deploy troops in Iraqi Kurdistan’s disputed province of Kirkuk, local TV reported.

The Iraqi parliament has also instructed the government to retake oil fields in the Kirkuk province and the areas disputed with Kurds. It also ruled out a dialogue with Erbil until the results of the referendum are canceled.

The the referendum commission said on Tuesday that some 91.83 percent of voters in Iraqi Kurdistan supported the idea of independence from Baghdad, as 3.4 million ballots were counted. Local Rudaw broadcaster said that the city of Kirkuk, the administrative center of Kirkuk province, showed a large voter turnout.

The oil province of Kirkuk, which is claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil, decided to take part in the referendum in August despite the region was controlled by the federal government. Baghdad has spoken out against the vote, questioning its legality.

Iraqi Kurdistan made the decision to hold the independence referendum in June. Following the announcement, the Iraqi government, as well as a number of foreign countries, including Turkey and the United States, have criticized the move.

sputnik