Iraqi Kurdish leader says region will defend itself

ARBIL, Iraq Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:03am IST

Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani speaks during an interview with Reuters in Arbil, about 350 km (220 miles) north of Baghdad January 4, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani speaks during an interview with Reuters in Arbil, about 350 km (220 miles) north of Baghdad January 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer/Files

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said on Saturday the region was fully prepared to defend itself, after a skirmish between Iraqi forces and Kurdish troops along their disputed internal border.

Tensions have been building between the autonomous Kurdish region and the central government in Baghdad since the departure of U.S. forces from Iraq in December, which removed a buffer between the two sides.

Relations have been strained further by the formation of a new command centre for Iraqi forces to operate in an area over which both Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional government (KRG)claim jurisdiction.

One person died in a shootout on Friday between Iraqi forces and Kurdish troops in Tuz Khurmato, 170 km (100 miles) north of the Iraqi capital.

"The Kurdish region is fully prepared to confront any undesirable occurrence, with the goal of defending our territory and our citizens," Barzani said in a statement on the Arabic page of the KRG's website.

"I have asked the Ministry of Peshmerga to take all necessary measures," Barzani said, referring to the Kurdish region's troops. He gave no details of what the measures entailed.

The fighting is a dramatic illustration of a broader feud over autonomy, oil and land that risks upsetting Iraq's uneasy federal union.

A standoff between Iraqi troops and Kurdish forces earlier this year came close to confrontation. Washington intervened and helped avert a potential clash.

(Reporting by Isabel Coles; Editing by Alison Williams)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ukraine

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Obama's Japan Visit

Obama's Japan Visit

Obama to use Japan visit to reassure Asian allies.  Full Article 

Solar Dispute

Solar Dispute

Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India.  Full Article 

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Children's corpses in Korean ferry reveal desperate attempts to escape.  Full Article 

Reconciliation Deal

Reconciliation Deal

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement.  Full Article 

Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

U.N. chief demands Security Council action on Syria.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage