ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region Parliament on Wednesday said the Iraqi government and Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias have been carrying out ethnic cleansing against the Kurdish population in disputed areas.
Kurdistan’s Parliament held a session to discuss the situation of the disputed areas outside of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) administration and the policy of Arabization implemented by Baghdad against Kurds in these areas.
Vala Fareed, Head of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, read the Parliament’s report which accused the Iraqi government of implementing the same policies carried out by the former dictatorial regimes against the Kurdish people in the country.
Fareed added that the occupation of Kurdish areas on Oct. 16 “was a continuation of the ethnic cleansing policy implemented by successive oppressive governments in Iraq.”
Referring to the Arabization policy in the Sargaran district of Kirkuk Province, the Parliament report explained that Iraqi authorities forcibly displaced Kurdish residents in an attempt “to change the demography of the region and link them to Arab-populated areas.”
Fareed said that “such policies only serve the Arabization process, erasing the Kurdish people within the state of Iraq.”
The former Iraqi Ba’ath regime, under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, implemented Arabization campaigns in Kirkuk Province and other Kurdish-populated areas in Nineveh, Salahadin, and Diyala.
The campaign was meant to change the demography of the areas by forcibly displacing the Kurdish residents and replacing them with Arabs from central and southern Iraq.
On Oct. 16, Iraqi forces and the Iranian-backed militias attacked and took over the oil-rich and multi-ethnic province of Kirkuk which had been under the protection of Kurdish Peshmerga since 2014 following the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) and the collapse of the Iraq army.
Over 180,000 people from Kirkuk and other disputed territories fled to the Kurdistan Region for fear of human rights violations and abuses at the hands of the militia groups.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany