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For the Kurds, Kirkuk is what Jerusalem is for the Israelis: a symbol of national identity. After the invasion of the Iraqi army, there is a deceptive peace of mind.

Kirkuk: Fear of what is coming

For the Kurds, Kirkuk is what Jerusalem is for the Israelis: a symbol of national identity. After the invasion of the Iraqi army, there is a deceptive peace of mind.

Kirkuk: Fear of what is coming
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  • Page 1 — Fear of what's coming
  • Page 2 — "We are our own enemies"
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    Herbert Lang has got new neighbors. In Militärflughafenvon Kirkuk, members of Shia militias moved in after Diekurdischen Peshmerga soldiers had left city. With m, DerDeutsche, who runs a company re in a small house, was actually super. He helped m with applications for Visa 1000000, exchanged German beer against Kurdish specialties, and celebrated as feasts fell. The German soldiers, who have been training peshmerga since 2014, have never seen former Bundeswehr officer in Kirkuk. "They mustn't come here," he says, "That's too close to front." Combat missions are not derAuftrag of approximately 150 trainers who are from Germany in norrn Iraq: "They have no experience in fighting."

    Lang has a privateSicherheitsfirma today; Protects, makes out, gives training to gun. Dieu's army is his main customer, Czechs come immediately after Amerikanern.In of battle of Mosul, his company supplied supplies, right up to Wasserflaschenund from United States flown food, showed soldier of IrakischenArmee and Peshmerga, How Czech weapons work. Damalskämpften m toger against terror militia is, now y are opponents.

    Herbert Lang at his office at military airport of Kirkuk © Birgit Svensson

    As Iraqi army with Shia militias on Kirkukvorrückte, was long near Hawija, last large is base, only 40 kilometers south of million city. When Hawija was from Dschihadistenbefreit, order came from Baghdad, next Kirkuk from Peschmergazurückzuerobern. "The Shia militias were first re," says Der47-year-old man from Vilseck in Upper Palatinate, who grew up next to a US training camp and thus saw his military career mapped out. How far dieMilizionäre are interlocked with Iraqi army and wher ir vonPremierminister Haider al-Abadi is enforced by intended integration may not comment long. "I come with all clear," he says, quite businessman.

    "Kirkuk We never Give back"

    Iraq's premier Abadi has meanwhile announced Kirkuk Befändesich again completely under control of Baghdad. The referendum of 25 September on an independent Kurdish state is null and void. FürKurdenpräsident Massoud Barzani This is biggest defeat of his PolitischenLaufbahn.

    The Kurdish leader thought in zenith of his power, when over 90 percent of his compatriots voted for ir own state. Now he will be strengned in negotiations with Baghdad, it sounded from Erbil, Kurdish metropolis and secret capital of new state. However, Bagdadund Premier Abadi refused to DieVolksbefragung parliament and court declared inadmissible.

    The problem here was not so much four Kurdish provinces of Erbil, Dohuk, Suleimanija and Halabja in norastern Iraq, who have already enjoyed extensive autonomy for years. They a ir own regional parliament, ir own regional government, ir own jurisdiction and border controls. When date of referendum Festgesetztwurde, Baghdad did not react at first. But Barzani did not want to be content to merely close autonomous territories to ir own state. In order to be able to survive economically, he needs city of Kirkuk.

    Moreover, city is for Kurds what Jerusalem is for Israelis: a symbol of national identity. "We never give up Kirkuk again", it was deshalballenthalben when Kurdish security forces in August 2014 defended city against attacks by terror militia, where and claim to be cemented to million city, which until n had DerVerwaltung Baghdad's stand.

    Or areas, such as Jesidenstadt Sinjar and Christian city of Casmoussa, are also to be incorporated into new Kurdish state in future. That was too much for central government in Baghdad, Abadimusste acting. Toger with Shia militias of VolksmobilisierungsfrontHashid al-Shaabi, his troops invaded Kirkuk at beginning of week, occupied airport and all public buildings, tore KurdischeFahne from centuries-old citadel and drove Governor in DieFlucht to Erbil.

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