Rudaw: Abadi says won’t fight Kurds, but Shiite cmdr says ordered to be on alert12 October 2017 | 17:46 | FOCUS News Agency
“We will not use our army against our people or fight a war against our Kurdish and other citizens,” Abadi said in a large-scale meeting with Anbar province’s local authorities. Portions of Anbar province remain one of the last territories still under control of ISIS after the group was defeated this year in Mosul, Tal Afar, and Hawija.
Abadi, who is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said that Baghdad’s main duty is to “preserve the unity of the country and the application of the constitution and the protection of the citizens and national wealth.”
He also said they were “working hard towards the restoration of stability” in the country.
Kurds, however, are concerned about the imminent possibility of conflict.
The Kurdistan Region Security Council announced in a tweet on Wednesday that they have been receiving “dangerous messages” that the Iraqi forces including Shiite militia Hashd al-Shaabi were preparing “major attacks” from several sides against Kurdistan.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in a separate statement warned that “Haider al-Abadi, the prime minister and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, is to blame for any disputes or violence which may erupt in disputed areas.”
bu Azrael, a prominent commander of the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi, revealed to Rudaw on Thursday that their forces are on alert upon orders from Abadi, ready to launch an incursion into Kirkuk.
Azrael said Abadi held a meeting with high-ranking military and security officials in Baghdad’s Green Zone where the premier ordered five different forces from the Hashd al-Shaabi, the elite Golden Division, Federal Police, and the Army to prepare for deployment to disputed areas and possible attack, particularly on Kirkuk.
“All the forces are fully prepared and on alert. They are waiting orders from superiors to attack. But they never want to fight the Peshmerga forces and Kurds,” he said.
According to Azrael, some commanders refused to fight against the Kurds, including Haji Shibl Zaidi, commander of the Shiite Imam Ali regiment.
He also cryptically predicted big changes in Kurdistan within the next two days, without providing details.
Peshmerga forces temporarily closed the main roads connecting Erbil and Duhok to Mosul to prevent any possibility of attacks on the Kurdistan Region.
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