Arshad al-Salihi, head of Iraqi Turkmen Front, also claims US is aware of PKK presence in Kirkuk province
In an interview with Anadolu Agency on Friday, Al-Salihi, who is a member of Iraqi parliament and the head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front, said if the PKK terrorists were brought to Kirkuk province with the aim to fight Daesh terrorist group, Turkmen are already doing the same.
“Why is the [Kirkuk] governor, who did not allow the Turkmen people in Kirkuk to arm in order to defend themselves, bringing the PKK to the province?” the Turkmen leader questioned.
According to al-Salihi, the U.S. is aware of PKK’s presence in Kirkuk.
Moreover, the Turkmen leader reiterated his rejection of the northern Kurdish region’s upcoming independence referendum.
On Sep. 25, residents of northern Iraq’s Kurdish region will take part in the referendum on whether to declare formal independence from the Iraqi state.
Officials in Baghdad, however, reject the planned poll, saying it could adversely impact the fight against the Daesh terrorist group, which despite a string of recent defeats still maintains a significant presence in Iraq.
The Iraqi government also claims that the poll would violate the country’s 2005 constitution and would be “of no political or economic benefit to the region’s Kurds”.
“The decision to hold a referendum in areas under the control of the Peshmerga, including Kirkuk, means occupation,” the Turkmen leader said.