10,000 Peshmerga in Baghdad To Protect Kurds From Possible Coup

December 31, 2010 at 12:15 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
image On the march: Kurdish peshmerga forces bearing Iraqi and Kurdish flags.—— Photo/ft.com


SULAIMANI, Iraqi Kurdistan: Ten thousand members of the Kurdish peshmerga forces have been sent to Baghdad to protect Jalal Talabani – the Kurdish president of Iraq – and all other Kurdish officials there from the possibility of a military coup, says a senior official from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of Iraqi Kurdistan’s two ruling parties.

This is the first time since 2003 that a top Kurdish official has acknowledged the threat to Kurdish politicians of a military coup in Baghdad.

Mala Bakhteyar, a senior member of the PUK’s political bureau, said in an interview with Kurdish television channel Gale Kurdistan that the PUK had prepared for the “worst case scenario,” including military coups.

“The Kurds [in Baghdad] are one of the main political blocs,” said Bakhteyar. “Currently 10,000 peshmerga are deployed there to ensure that Kurdish officials and [PUK leader] Talabani are protected from any plots. It’s not as if we are just sitting there in Baghdad quietly waiting for a plot to come along.”

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