The ever-rising tensions in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh got another boost today when members of the Kurdish opposition accused the provincial government of ‘inciting’ al-Qaeda and turning a blind eye to the rising number of attacks in the area.
The party formally requested that the national government intervene in the area, warning of a “serious escalation” if it happened. The head of provincial ruling party al-Hadba for his part blamed the Peshmerga, the military of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), saying the bombings were meant to give them legitimacy.
The Kurdish parties had taken control over Nineveh’s provincial government after the US invasion, amidst boycotts by much of the area’s Sunni Arab populace. Al-Hadba took power in the January elections running on a campaign of minimizing the influence of Kurds in the province’s affairs, and its own forces have clashed with the Peshmerga.
The dispute over control of the region has also been exacerbated by the KRG’s attempt to annex parts of the province, including the major city of Mosul, into Kurdistan. The Kurdish opposition has threatened to set up a rival government in the region.