BEIRUT

Middle East

Barzani: Kurdish self-rule in Kirkuk to stay

  • The President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani (L) visits Kirkuk June 26, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)

ARBIL: Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said Friday that there was no going back on autonomous Kurdish rule in oil city Kirkuk and other towns now defended against Sunni militants by Kurdish fighters.

"Now, this (issue) ... is achieved," he said, referring to the Kurds' decades-old ambition to incorporate the territory in their autonomous region in the north over the objections of successive governments in Baghdad.

Kurdish forces stepped in when federal government forces withdrew in the face of a jihadist-led offensive earlier this month.

 
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