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Military units should be under central govt. control.

Byline: SS (I)/SR

BAGHDAD, Aug. 19 (VOI) Co The parliamentary security and defense committee on Tuesday said that it is important to place military units all over the country, including those in Iraq's Kurdistan region, under the control of the central government in Baghdad.

"The security and defense committee seeks to empower the central government to have full control over military units in all provinces, even those in the Kurdistan region, given the fact that all units are Iraqi and are assigned to serve Iraq," Abdelkareem al-Samarraie, a member of the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF) said in a statement published on the Web site of the committee.

Earlier, a source from the Peshmerga forces told VOI that Iraqi army forces entered Qurtuba district in Khanaqin, Diala province, on August 10, and gave Peshmerga forces stationed there a 24-hour time limit to get out.

Samarraie praised Iraqi President Jalal al-Talabani's role in defusing the crisis. Talks inside the executive board in cooperation with the regional government in Kurdistan resulted in a decision ordering the gradual withdrawal of the 34th Brigade forces from Qurtuba.

Peshmerga forces had withdrawn from Qara Tabba district in Diala's Khanaqin and handed over the security responsibility to the Iraqi army in light of an agreement between the Iraqi government and a regional government delegation.

Khanaqin is affiliated with Diala province. In February 2008, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ordered the establishment of an administration that included the districts of Khanaqin, Kafri, Klar, and Jamjal, which it said is administratively affiliated with the region.

Diala province extends to the northeast of Baghdad as far as the Iranian border. Its capital is Baaquba. It covers an area of 17,685 square kilometers (6,828 sq mi).

A large portion of the province is drained by the Diala River, a major tributary of the Tigris.

Because of its proximity to two major sources of water, Diala's main industry is agriculture, primarily dates grown in large Date Palm groves. It is also recognized as the orange capital of the Middle East.

In January 2008 Operation Phantom Phoenix was launched in an attempt to eradicate the remnants of al-Qaeda network following the Diala province campaign between 2006 and 2007.

The Peshmerga is a term used by the Kurds to refer to armed Kurdish fighters.

Khanaqin is one of the disputed areas included in Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution.

Article 140 is related to the normalization of the situation in Kirkuk city and other disputed areas.

Kurds seek to include the city in the autonomous Iraq's Kurdistan region, while Sunni Muslims, Turkmen and Shiites oppose the incorporation. The article currently stipulates that all Arabs in Kirkuk be returned to their original locations in southern and central Iraqi areas, and formerly displaced residents returned to Kirkuk, 250 km northeast of Baghdad. The article also calls for conducting a census to be followed by a referendum to let the inhabitants decide whether they would like Kirkuk to be annexed to the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region or having it as an independent province.

These stages were supposed to end on December 31, 2007, a deadline that was later extended to six months to end in July 2008.

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Publication:Aswat al-Iraq (Erbil, Iraq)
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Aug 19, 2008
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