Kurdish farmers in Makhmour protest against Iraqi army’s constraints

In the event that the situation continues and they are unable to find a solution for us, we will have no choice but to leave Makhmour,” one farmer reaffirmed to Kurdistan 24.
Kurdish farmers in Makhmour district during the protest, Oct. 22, 2023. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
Kurdish farmers in Makhmour district during the protest, Oct. 22, 2023. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – In response to the Iraqi army's refusal to allow Kurdish farmers access to Makhmour, the farmers have once again blocked the main road between Erbil and Makhmour.

The farmers told Kurdistan 24 that there are 11 different forces at the checkpoint, each of which represents itself as an official Iraqi government military force. The checkpoint is only set up to “constrain the people of Makhmour.” 

“Makhmour is known for its agriculture, and they want to surround the city. Why do such problems not arise in all other cities and towns? In the event that the situation continues and they are unable to find a solution for us, we will have no choice but to leave Makhmour,” one farmer reaffirmed to Kurdistan 24.

Moreover, a driver of one of the trucks stopped from entering Makhmour said "The manure I loaded came from Turkey and crossed the border between the two countries. I do not know why they are preventing me from offloading it in Makhmour.”

Located 65 kilometers southwest of Erbil city, Makhmour is one of the Kurdistan Region's agricultural hubs, with a total of roughly 74,000 acres used for growing crops and grains annually.

The district is renowned for its wheat, barley, and agricultural crops in addition to agriculture and livestock, Makhmour is also rich in construction and oil products, particularly in the Dibaga and Karaj districts, where the Khurmala oil field is situated.

Encompassing more than 210 villages, the district contains roughly 352,000 dunams, which constitute 8% of the province of Erbil's total area.

Makhmour lies within the disputed territories between Erbil and Baghdad and was a critical point of conflict during the War on ISIS, when the terror group attempted to seize the district from the Peshmerga.