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Kurdish opponents of Barzani report attacks on offices

Kurdish opponents of Barzani report attacks on offices”

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Puk), the Movement for Change and Gorran said several of their offices, north of the Kurdish capital, Erbil, were looted or burnt overnight from Sunday to Monday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the United Nations have appealed for calm.

Iraqi Kurdish political factions are seen to be turning on each other following the resignation of regional leader Masoud Barzani, who stepped down Sunday following weeks of tumult around his failed push for a fully independent Kurdistan. A Kurdish official said Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, that Barzani, has informed parliament that he'll not stay in office as his term expires November 1 in the wake of a controversial vote on independence from Iraq.

Recent weeks have seen tension skyrocket between the Iraqi military and Kurdish peshmerga forces, particularly around the disputed, oil-rich city of Kirkuk near the southern edge of KRG territory.

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The incident came shortly after the assembly voted to transfer presidential authority from KRG President Masoud Barzani to the Kurdish parliament and the KRG's Council of Justice.

A Kurdish official on the Syrian side of the border said access for aid workers and journalists has not been affected.

The PUK has denied KDP claims that it struck a deal with Baghdad to withdraw Peshmerga under its command from Kirkuk that day without putting up a fight.

An Associated Press team witnessed dozens of protesters attacking the building, parliamentarians and journalists as Barzani addressed the Kurdish region in his first televised speech since the referendum's fallout turned violent earlier this month. They attacked lawmakers and reporters while a crowd outside parliament waved Kurdish flags.

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In the statement, Nauert stressed a USA desire to work with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Masoud Barzani's nephew and a fellow member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) faction, and with Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, a member of the other faction, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

He said the central Iraqi government was closely monitoring what he described as "attempts to create chaos and disorder" in the Kurdish cities of Erbil and Dohuk. He called for "adhering to the law and for calm".

Although Kirkuk is outside the borders of the Kurdish autonomous region, Kurds consider it the heart of their homeland.

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