Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s media office has said that presence of federal troops in southwest of Kirkuk is to liberate it, after declaring the province free of Islamic State, which controlled 40 percent of it.
“Iraqi troops waged fierce battles in Kirkuk regions as well as Mosul to liberate them from IS,” Saad al-Hadithi, the spokesperson of the media office, said in a statement on Wednesday. “It’s normal that troops remain deployed there to preserve security, facilitate repatriation of the displaced and prevent the return back of terrorists.”
“It’s unreasonable that the troops get deployed for liberation and then return back to barracks,” he added.
“The regions that were named as disputed in constitution include Kirkuk. It’s under authority of the federal government in accordance with constitution. This means that government has to keep safety and security there to prevent violations against lives and properties of people, including the Kurdish and other ethnicities,” Hadithi said.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces denied warnings by Kurdistan’s security council that Iraq was preparing for a major attack on Kirkuk.
Previously on the day, a tweet by the autonomous region’s security council indicated receiving dangerours messages that Iraqi forces are preparing for a major attack in southwest of Kirkuk. However, Jabbar Yawar, secretary general of the Peshmerga Ministry, said in remarks that such news were untrue.