Inside Iraq - Who controls Khanaqin? - 05 Sep 08 - Part 1

Al Jazeera English
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A new flashpoint is brewing between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), over the city of Khanaqin, in northern Iraq's Diyala province.

Tension has been simmering since the Iraqi defence ministry ordered Kurdish Peshmerga forces, who have been providing security in Khanaqin, to be replaced by Iraqi troops.

The majority of Kurds who control Khanaqin want the city to be integrated into the KRG in northern Iraq.

But in a recent move to curb growing Kurdish expansion, Nuri Al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, ordered the Iraqi army to force Kurdish parties to vacate public buildings in the city.

Massoud Barzani, the KRG president, accused Baghdad of trying to derail the democratic process in the country as the Kurds consider Khanaqin to be part of Kurdistan.

Al-Maliki shot back by threatening to prosecute any Peshmerga forces operating outside KRG controlled areas.

Inside Iraq this week scrutinises the implications of the rising political tension between Baghdad and the KRG as the Kurds are increasingly claiming a stake on disputed territories in the north of the country.

Our guests this week are Dindar Zebari, KRG Coordinator to the UN, Brian Katulis from the Centre of American Progress and Saad N Jawad, author and political analyst from London.

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