Volume. 12231
Peshmerga must return Iraq's weapons, Maliki's coalition demands
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Iraq99a(3).jpgThe State of Law Coalition of outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki called on the new President Fuad Masum to reclaim the northern territory and gain control of the arms seized by the Peshmerga forces in the province of Kirkuk after the withdrawal of the Iraqi army in June.
In a statement to the Anadolu news agency, leader of the coalition and Member of Parliament Abboud Al-Issawi said that it is the new president's duty to "play a national role to preserve Iraq and not to give priority to the interests of his party over that of the country", in reference to the fact that the new president hails from a background of Kurdish nationalism.
Al-Issawi said that there are many challenges ahead, most notably for the Regional Government in northern Iraq to re-claim arms seized by Peshmerga forces from the province of Kirkuk after the withdrawal of the Iraqi army after fighters from the Islamic State (ISIL), and militias allied to them, attacked the region in June.
The leader of the coalition said the president must also request the Regional Government in northern Iraq ensure the Peshmerga forces withdrawal from disputed areas and handover protection of the region to the Iraqi army.
The State of Law Coalition is the largest body in the National Alliance (Shia), which represents the majority of the Iraqi parliament and holds 180 out of the 328 seats.
There is widespread unrest in areas to the north and west of Iraq after ISIL took full control of the province of Nineveh on June 10 after the Iraqi army withdrew without resisting leaving large quantities of weapons and gear.
The same thing happened in the cities in the Salahuddin province and parts of the province of Kirkuk. A few months earlier ISIS took control of the Anbar province to the west of the country.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces entered many disputed areas following the withdrawal of the Iraqi army, under the pretext of stopping ISIS' advance towards the Kurdish areas. The province of Kirkuk is the most prominent of these disputed areas.
Iraqi forces have been able to flush out militants and regain control of a number of cities and towns after fierce battles were fought over the past few weeks.
Violence killed 1,737 people, mostly civilians, in Iraq in July, when terrorists seized large swathes of land in the north, United Nations figures showed, according to Reuters. 
That was a sharp drop from June, when about 2,400 Iraqis were killed.

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