The violent clashes are renewed in Tuz “in Salah-aldin province between the peshmerga (Kurdish) forces and the Turkmen popular crowd – Al-hashed al-shaabi ( Shiites Turkmen ), late on Saturday evening on 23 / April in northern Iraq, these confrontations led to the deaths between the two sides , for the Kurdish side ten of the Peshmerga were killed including officers , and
also a number of Kurdish citizens and nineteen homes of Kurdish citizens were burned , and regarding the Turkmen popular crowd , twenty – five people were killed and forty of them were wounded .
On the reason for the renewed clashes, mayor of Tuz shallal Abdl alkurdi said that « the clashes were erupted after a grenade explosion near the house of the member of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union party ( PUK ) , korran jawhar leel on Saturday night (yesterday) and it is believed that elements in the popular crowd (Turkmen) are behind the incident ». He added that « Kurdish forces equipped with tanks and weapons arrived in Tuz morning to begin a series of battles before the calls are taken place for calm that eased the congestion in the city a little bit». The battles caused a state of tension in the district , which is inhabited by a mix of Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen, Shiites and Sunnis. .Also it caused to cut the strategic road linking the capital Baghdad with the northern city of Kirkuk (key road cut) .
In the face of these events, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, issued on Sunday of April 24 , an order to the Joint Special Operations Command to take the necessary militarymeasures to control the situation in Tuz of the province Kirkuk . media office of Al-abadi said in a statement , that “the general commander of the armed forces, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the joint Special operations command to take all necessary military measures to control the situation in Tuz Khurmatu and stop the repercussions of the unfortunate events that led to a number of casualties. “the office added, that” all leaders have been contacted to defuse the crisis and focus efforts against the common enemy of Iraqis which is ISIL “Daash.” Tuz is one of the disputed areas between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the central government in Baghdad.
And the major conflict is taking place now in Tuz which is known as ” mini Kirkuk ” between Kurds and Turkmen Shiites , located in some 175 km north of Baghdad, noting that the Kurds run since 2003 the sensitive administrative and security joints of the city while the Shiites Turkmen formed after the emergence of ISIL – (Daash ) the popular crowd forces(Alhashed al-shaabi) as a maneuver to support their nationalism and Shiite doctrine. Although the Peshmerga forces has cooperated with the popular crowd in restoring control over the Amerli area of Tuz in the month of August of the last year and retook it from the militants of Daash, but the coalition equation against the militant group -Daash has recently turned into an internal conflict between the two sides to extend their influence on the city.
It should be noted here that the violence has been repeated almost monthly between allied armed groups reluctantly in the face of state regulation in Iraq and the Levant “Daash”, since expelled the militants from towns and villages in 2014. And in the last month of November l, fight was taken place at a checkpoint that was extended into the city of Tuz between Turkmen fighters and elements of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, resulting in the burning of many houses and split the city into ethnic Turkoman and other Kurdish areas, and the displacement of the population of which, according to this ethnic and sectarian division.
those interested of the Iraq affairs considered that the clashes were the expected result of the permanent tension in Tuz linked to the deepest problem concerning the worsening ethnic and sectarian conflict in the Iraq , and possibly to be turned to a broader armed conflict in order to seize the areas and control them by force of arms, which was spread in an unprecedented degree of chaos which has reached to the degree of appearance of the parallel armies that was feared it will be a fierce civil war, waiting for the country in the stage of the post-regulation Daash.
As the Iraqi Kurds are aspiring , who are resorting to a well-organized and armament force distributed between police by naming the Asayish, and the Army is known as peshmerga , to expand the boundaries of their region, which their leaders did not hesitate to express their quest to be separated completely from Iraq , it would be difficult to grab land from the hands of Shiite armed militias dominated on it after taking it back from Daash and started working on changing the demographic composition by reducing the numbers of the Sunni sect over the restrictions on those who remained in those areas, and prevent the return of the displaced, fleeing from the war.
The observers warn that the fuel of coming civil war in Iraq is availability of a huge and diverse weapons , which has become in the hands of Shiite militias, on the one hand, and the growing strength of the Kurdish Peshmerga compared to the Iraqi army, who faced with Daash attack on Iraqi areas in summer before the last year , a case more like a collapse. And increasing aspirations of Iraqi Kurds to establish their own independent state and expand the boundaries of their region to the disputed areas such as the oil-rich province of Kirkuk .
Renewable military confrontations in Tuz is only an example of what was happened to the Iraq’s state and society after the ninth of April 2003, which was helped by the weakness which could lead to tearing Iraq, the political process based on partisan , ethnic and sectarian quotas. this high level of conflict between the combatants in Tuz is only an indication that the war on the organization of the state in Iraq and the Levant “Daash” may not be the final stage in the armed conflict in Iraq, and perhaps even be the introduction for the compound civil wars of the sectarian and nationalist character.
Rawabet Research and Strategic Studies Center