A protest was held in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul today to protest attempts by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to annex portions of the Nineveh Province into Kurdistan. Notable local Turkmen and Arab leaders were reported to have attended the rally.
The parlaiment of Kurdistan voted late last month on a constitution which claims several areas outside of its current borders, notably Kirkuk and parts of the Nineveh and Diyala Provinces, to be “Kurdish Provinces” and subject to the provisions of the constitution and the authority of the regional government.
The Arab and Turkmen residents of the area largely opposed their inclusion into Kurdistan, and a long history of animosity exists between them and the Kurds. Kurdish MPs have accused those who oppose the move of being agents for unnamed foreign powers, and say the annexation of the regions into Kurdistan is the will of the Kurdish people.
The new Kurdish constitution claims an even wider level of autonomy than it had previously enjoyed since the 2003 US invasion. The KRG’s own military, the Peshmearga, has been deploying in the disputed areas for months, and the government has been raising flags in areas it intends to annex.