Kurdistan in secret weapons deal: Iraqi
July 29, 2012
BAGHDAD, — A high-ranking Iraqi official on
Sunday said security agencies have uncovered a
secret weapons deal between the autonomous Kurdistan
region and an unnamed foreign country.
"Iraqi security agencies (discovered) a secret
weapons deal between the president of the Iraqi
Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, and a foreign
country," the security official told AFP on
condition of anonymity.
"The weapons include anti-armour and anti-aircraft
missiles, and a large number of heavy weapons," the
official said, without specifying the exact weapons
The official said Iraqi authorities have obtained
"all the documents" pertaining to the deal, which is
for "weapons of a Russian type made in 2004," and
are trying to block it.
"This step is a breach of the law and the Iraqi
constitution, because the only side that can (buy
arms) is the federal ministry of defence," the
Several Kurdish officials either declined to comment
on the allegation or could not immediately be
reached by AFP.
For its part Baghdad has ordered 36
F-16 warplanes from the United
States, and has already fielded M1 Abrams tanks.
the F-16s earlier this year, saying he was
opposed to the sale of these
warplanes while Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in
fearing they would be used against Kurdistan.
On July 17th, Umeed Sabah, spokesman for the
Kurdistan region presidency also said in a statement
that Maliki had "plans for the militarisation of
Iraqi society and supports the option of violence as
a means to reach political aims."
Relations between Baghdad and Kurdistan are at a low
ebb over multiple festering disputes.
The two sides are at odds over Kurdistan's refusal
to seek approval from the central government for oil
contracts it has awarded to foreign firms, and over
a swathe of disputed territory in north Iraq.
Barzani has also supported efforts to pass a
no-confidence motion against Maliki.
And on Wednesday local Kurdish peshmerga security
soldiers sent by Baghdad from reaching a disputed
north Iraq area that borders Syria, a top Kurdish
security official said.
Since 1991, the Kurds of Iraq achieved self-rule in
part of the country. Today's teenagers are the first
generation to grow up under Kurdish rule. Most Kurds
don’t speak Arabic, especially the younger
generation. In the new Iraqi
Constitution, it is referred to as Kurdistan region.
Kurdistan region has all the trappings of an
independent state -- its own constitution, its own
parliament, its own flag, its own army, its own
border patrol, its own national anthem, its own
education system, its own International airports,
even its own stamp inked into the passports of
visitors. So far 24 countries have opened consulates
in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region
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