Kurdish Protesters Set Fire to KDP, PUK Offices in Iraqi Kurdistan
Kurdish Protesters Set Fire to KDP, PUK Offices in Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurdish Protesters Set Fire to KDP, PUK Offices in Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurdish Protesters Set Fire to KDP, PUK Offices in Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurdish protesters, angered by years of austerity and unpaid public sector salaries, set fire to the offices of political parties near the city of Sulaymaniyah on Monday, demanding that Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) quit.
Social media footage showed a building belonging to the ruling Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), which is led by Massoud Barzani, on fire. A spokesman for its coalition partner in government, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), told Reuters an office belonging to them was also set ablaze by protesters, Ekurds Daily reported.
Two other party offices were torched, local media reported. Reuters was able to independently verify only those fires at the KDP and PUK offices, but Iraqi state television reported that the offices of several Kurdish political parties had been set on fire, without naming the parties.
Tension has been high in the region since the central government in Baghdad imposed tough measures when the KRG unilaterally held an independence referendum on Sept. 25 in which Kurds voted overwhelmingly to secede.
At least 3,000 Kurdish demonstrators had gathered in Sulaymaniyah for the protests on Monday against the KRG.
Men and women carried signs in Kurdish, Arabic, and English telling the executive and legislative branches of the KRG that they wanted them gone, holding up red cards to further make their point.
“Stop 26 years of robbery and wrong decisions,” one read.
Teachers, hospital workers and other public sector employees demanded the regional government pay their wages. Some said they had not been paid in more than three years.
“These protests are different from earlier ones because the Kurdish public are not asking the government for something, they are asking the executive and legislature to leave,” said protester Kameran Gulpi.

  From Boom to Bust
In the decade following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, Kurdistan insulated itself against violence plaguing the rest of the country and enjoyed an economic boom fueled by rising Iraqi oil revenues, of which the region received a share.
The bubble began to deflate in early 2014 when the Baghdad central government slashed funds to the KRG after it built its own oil pipeline to Turkey in pursuit of economic independence.
After the September referendum, the Iraqi government responded by seizing Kurdish-held Kirkuk and other territory disputed between the Kurds and the central government. It also banned direct flights to Kurdistan and demanded control over border crossings.
In October, Iraq’s National Security Council announced that a probe has been launched into Kurdistan’s lucrative oil revenues and officials in the region who might have illegally monopolized the market.
“The corrupt will be exposed and the funds recovered,” said a statement from the council, headed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Short URL : https://goo.gl/72UWcS
  1. https://goo.gl/Y1TULB
  • https://goo.gl/q84cfN
  • https://goo.gl/pDLZmA
  • https://goo.gl/935a9m
  • https://goo.gl/YN5o31

You can also read ...

Democrats’ Enthusiasm to Blunt Trump Soars for Congressional Election
A new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll has found that enthusiasm...
US Imposes Sanctions on China for Buying Russian Weapons
The US has imposed sanctions on the Chinese military over its...
Vietnamese President Dies
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang died on Friday aged 61 at...
British Prime Minister Theresa May looks to passing  by heads of government after the family photo at the informal EU summit in Salzburg, Austria, Sept. 20.
British Prime Minister May’s Brexit blueprint was in tatters...
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walk during a luncheon on Sept. 21.
The North Korea ball is thoroughly back in Washington's court...
Dozens Dead in Tanzania Ferry Disaster
At least 100 people have died after a ferry carrying hundreds...

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints