A weekly brief of events and news occurred in the disputed territories.
The Arabization attempts continued under the acting Governor of Kirkuk against the Kurds in the province. After Arabization attempts in Chiman and Sargaran districts took place over the past few weeks, on Monday, several brought-up Arab tribes attempted to occupy Turkmen-owned farms near the Yaychi subdistrict. The occupiers reportedly assaulted the Turkmen farmers. Like what occurred on the Kurdish lands, several lands owned by Turkmen families suffered demographic changes under the former Ba’ath regime.
The Kirkuk Integrity Commission launched a new investigation against the head of the education department, Abed Hussein Ali Tuma, for alleged bribery during two separate hiring processes of teachers in 2019 and 2021. The Integrity Commission said they launched investigations in response to several complaints. In both cases, Tuma hired 77% Arabs while Kurds and Turkmen made up the rest of the hirings, raising anger among the public. Tuma is a controversial figure who recently deployed his bodyguards to remove journalists during a ceremony commencing the beginning of a new school year.
On Monday, the National Security’s Kirkuk branch announced the arrest of a female ISIS (Da’esh) spy in Taza subdistrict. The woman is the widow of a deceased Da’esh leader, Khalaf Alian who was killed in the liberation of the Hawija district in 2017. Further, the Federal Police claimed they foiled a Da’esh attack and arrested five terrorists near Laylan district after detecting their movement by thermal cameras.
The Turkish-backed Turkman politician Arshad Salihi repeated his rejection to the return of Peshmerga forces to Kirkuk. During a meeting with his supporters, Salihi said the Peshmerga forces have returned under the pretext of merging two divisions with the Iraqi army. Salihi is known for his anti-Kurdish stance and has been criticized by the Kurds for ignoring the province’s security situation since Kurdish forces were removed in 2017.
According to the latest statistics by the State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO), Kirkuk’s oil export has decreased by one million barrels in November compared to the prior month. SOMO said Kirkuk fields produced 2,032,658 barrels in November, grossing 77 USD per barrel, for a total of 157,124,463 USD. In October, Kirkuk exported 3,011,819 million barrels.
According to observers and other sources, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) plans to replace two of its senior officials in the administration as part of the ongoing changes in its leadership since July 8. The PUK plans to replace the heads of police and municipality.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) offshoot, Tevgari Azadi has limited its activities in Kirkuk after a recent Turkish airstrike on a village near the Qara Hanjeer allegedly targeted PKK fighters. Tavgari Azadi and its youth organization have shut down their Kirkuk branch after concerns of further Turkish operations.
Thirteen people from Kirkuk were killed in three car accidents over the past 10 days. Kirkuk province continues suffering from a lack of basic services, including road maintenance.
Supporters of the Iranian-backed Fateh party blocked the main road between Khanaqin and Baqubah for six hours, protesting the results of the parliamentary elections held on October 10, 2021.
Following a sequence of attacks on Peshmerga forces near Kifri, Da’esh terrorists clashed with an Iraqi army convoy on Tuesday, on main road in the Qara Tapah subdistrict. The attack is the first of its type since 2017. Further, the commander of Diyala operations announced plans to dig trenches around Khanaqin and Jalawla (Golala) to prevent Da’esh infiltrations into the towns.
In a new change of security forces, Iraq’s Defense Ministry plans to replace the Quick Reaction Forces with three brigades of division 9 of the Iraqi army. Security in the area remains unstable due to weekly attacks by Da’esh.
On Saturday, November 27, Da’esh terrorists attempted an attack on the Qarach village near Makhmour, but resistance from locals foiled their plan despite several villagers being wounded. Meanwhile, after two months of besieging the Qara Chokh mountains, Da’esh’s de facto headquarters, the Iraqi army withdrew from the area without explanation. Iraqi security forces planned to launch a security operation there after the besiege.
A Frankfurt court sentenced an Iraqi Da’esh terrorist to life in prison for partaking in the Yazidi Genocide, including allowing a child to die of thirst. The terrorist, Taha al Jumaili, was charged with crimes against humanity. The sentence is the first in the world for crimes which occurred during the Yazidi Genocide. Last October, al Jumaili’s wife,Jennifer Finish, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the same case.
The Freedom Seeks of Shingal, a group of activists, released a statement expressing concerns about increasing suicide rates in the Yazidi community. The group said alone in November 7 Yazidis committed suicide.