- Apr 20, 2012
- Reaction score
- Kirkuk - Kurdistan
Parliamentary Security and Defence member MP Hassan Jihad. Photo: UKS
ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', Parliamentary Security and Defence member MP Hassan Jihad stated that "the way to arm Iraqi forces stirred many doubts and fears in the Kurdish region".
"But if the Kurdish Peshmerga forces are included in the arming process, this will remove doubts and demonstrate the real intentions", he confirmed.
Kurdish Alliance MP Jihad told Aswat al-Iraq that "the share of the Kurdish region of the weapons contracted is unclear".
He expressed his concern on the Iraqi army movements in the disputed areas, including sending tanks to Kirkuk, "which is unacceptable to the Kurdish region", as he stressed.
Jihad added that the question of arming the Kurdish Peshmerga will be discussed with the higher authorities, parliamentary commissions and governmental organs.
On the other hand, Kurdish MP Shwan Mohammed Taha expressed his fears that the Russian and the Czechs did not put pre-conditions, as the US and Europeans did, not to use these weapons for internal disputes and offensive operations.
Iraqi premier Nouri al-Maliki agreed with the Russians and the Czechs to supply Iraq with arms, the Russian share was more than $4 billion and buying Czech planes with the amount of $1 billion, as reported.
In August 2012, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced that the country will receive in spring the first shipment of the F-16 deals which the country signed with the US two years ago.
In September 2011 Iraq ordered 18 of the lower standard fighters for $4.2bn from Lockheed Martin, and later in December ordered another 18 from the company in addition to spares and support for $2.3bn. Iraq hopes to build a fleet of 96 F-16 jets, which will start flying around 2014-15.
Some of Iraq's neighbors and the president of the Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, have said they are worried about Baghdad acquiring the jets.
"I feel Kurdistan's future is in severe danger because of (Maliki)," Barzani said in April 2012. "F-16 (jets) should not reach the hands of this man (Maliki)."
Barzani alleged that Maliki had discussed using F-16s against Kurdistan during a meeting with military officers.
"During a military meeting, they talked about problems between Baghdad and Erbil ," Barzani said.
"They told him, 'Sir, just give us the authority, and we would kick them out of Erbil ,'" Barzani said. "And (Maliki) answered: 'Wait until the arrival of the F-16.'"
The central government and the Kurdish region have long-running disputes over political autonomy, oil rights and contested territories.
Sources: aswataliraq.info | ekurd.net | AFP | Reuters | Agencies
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