KDP to recover its offices, headquarters in Kirkuk
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is set to regain the possession of its offices and headquarters in Kirkuk province, where they have been occupied by the Shiite militias and other Iraqi forces for six years.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani has recently notified the forces to leave the offices in a bid to pave the way for the official handover of the buildings to the KDP, which has ceased all operations inside the oil-rich province in protest of the 2017 military takeover of the city by the Iraqi forces.
The party’s main headquarters, which used to serve as its Kirkuk leadership office, is currently used by the Kirkuk Joint Operations Command center. It used to be the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Services headquarters after 2017 for a while.
The Iraqi Turkmen Front and Arabic Coalition headed by Rakan Al-Jabouri, who has been acting as Kirkuk governor since 2017, have publicly opposed the KDP’s return to the oil-rich province.
The party has not officially commented on the handover decision by the Iraqi premier, waiting for “practical steps” to be taken, Kurdistan 24 has learned from its officials. Similar attempts previously have been futile, they say.
The KDP, which has the majority seats among the Kurdish parties in the Iraqi parliament, is planning to run in the upcoming provincial elections set for December 18, 2023.
Kirkuk, along with parts of Diyala and Saladin provinces, have disputed territories between Kurds and Iraqi governments for decades. Per the constitution, the status of these areas had to be decided by the local population in a referendum following the de-Arabization process by no later than 2007.
Additional reporting by Kurdistan 24 Kirkuk reporter Soran Kamaran