Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The United Nations has expressed concern over reports of deportations and assaults on Kurds in Kirkuk after the Iraqi forces announced a total takeover of the disputed province.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq said Thursday that it is “concerned about reports regarding the destruction and looting of houses, businesses and political offices, and forced displacement of civilians, predominantly Kurds, from disputed areas”. It said
The mission said it had received allegations that about 150 houses in Tuz Khurmatu region were burned on 16 and 17 October, “by armed groups”.
“There were also allegations that up to 11 houses which reportedly belonged to Kurdish families and officials of Kurdish political parties were destroyed by explosives in the city. There were also reports of attacks against political offices of Turkmen parties in the Kirkuk Governorate”.
Some Kurdish politicians and media outlets have accused the Popular Mobilization Forces, an alliance of Shia militias backing Iraqi forces, of assaulting Kurdish residents of areas recaptured over the past week. Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi had accused social media instigators of posting fake videos of the alleged violations.
Iraqi troops, backed by Popular Mobilization Forces, took over Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on Tuesday, fulfilling Abadi’s earlier directives to retake areas where sovereignty is disputed with Kurdistan Region’s Government. The Iraqi military command said it became in control over all of the province’s oil fields, military bases and government facilities. The military takeover came after Kurdistan voted in September to secede from Iraq. Iraqi officials have frequently reiterated they would proceed until federal government control is fully re-established in disputed territories.