Iraqi Turkmen: Arabs, Turkmen Reject Plans for Kirkuk
Below is an article published by UPI :
Iraqi Arab and Turkmen leaders have rejected a plan to deploy a trilateral military contingent in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
Kirkuk lies at the center of Arab-Kurdish tensions in Iraq over the so-called disputed territories, which run along a de facto border from Sinjar near the western border with Syria to Khanaqin near Iran.
Jurisdictional disputes over Khanaqin nearly led to conflict between Iraqi and Kurdish forces in August 2008, and resolving regional tensions in the north of the country remains a top concern for many.
U.S. military forces had proposed a limited deployment in the region as the area remains a lingering concern in the minds of leading strategists.
The Kurdish Peshmerga force is deployed in Kirkuk, raising the ire of Arabs, Turkmen and other minority groups as it lies outside of the jurisdiction of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq.
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, for his part, has called the Kurdish deployment "illegal and unconstitutional." Arabs and Turkmen, meanwhile, rejected any measures that call for the deployment of a force made up of U.S., Iraq and Kurdish forces, Iraqi daily Azzaman reports.
Arabs and Turkmen in Kirkuk have united to oppose the Kurdish presence, but the disputes remain non-violent so far.