Kurds’ Retreat from Kirkuk Foils Barzani’s Plot against Region: Iranian Official
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A member of Iran’s Expediency Council said the Kurdish Peshmerga forces’ withdrawal from the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk put an end to a dangerous plot hatched against regional security.
With the Kurdish forces’ retreat from Kirkuk today, the back of a Barzani’s scheme against the region’s security was broken, Ali Akbar Velayati said on Monday, referring to President of Iraqi Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani.
He made the remarks after a convoy of Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces earlier in the day took control of the governorate building in the central part of Kirkuk, located 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of capital Baghdad.
“Barzani’s, and behind the scenes Israel’s, objective was seizing Kirkuk’s oil wells in favor of Israel. For years, no group or minority in the region had proudly raised the flag of the Zionist regime (but the Kurdish region’s authorities recently did),” he said.
Velayati added that it was a dangerous plot in the region but the Iraqi government powerfully foiled it.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday ordered the hoisting of Iraqi national flag in Kirkuk.
According to the city’s residents, before hoisting the national flag, Iraqi forces removed the Kurdish flag from the governorate building.
Security sources and residents, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the government forces arrived at the site, and took position in the vicinity alongside the local city police.
They added that CTS members drove to Kirkuk downtown after they had captured the airport earlier in the day from Kurdish forces.