The peshmerga, the security forces of Iraqi Kurdistan, have taken on Friday the control of production facilities at two oil fields in Kirkuk and Bai Hassan in the north of the country. As reported by the oil minister quoted by Reuters, Kurdish soldiers have thrown the entire Arab staff of both plants and have been replaced by exclusively Kurdish workers.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari announced Friday that Kurdish political bloc has suspended its participation in the government of Nuri Al Maliki Shiite and protested some controversial statements of the Prime Minister accusing the Kurdistan “harboring terrorists” of the Islamic State (IS), whose offensive against Baghdad to implement an Islamic Caliphate began on 19 June. Al Maliki warned that Erbil, capital of the autonomous region of Kurdistan, was becoming a “base” for the activities of groups such as IS.
Kurdish ministers initially responded to this “challenge” canceling their attendance at the next meeting of the Executive. Although at first chose to follow in their portfolios, Zebari said now shall not engage themselves in their portfolios tasks (among which the Trade, Immigration and Health). “We have suspended our work in the government ” announced Foreign Minister.
Massoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, ordered two weeks ago the authorities a referendum on independence for the northern region, which currently has some autonomy but the Iraqi constitution does not provide for self-determination.