Iraq’s Central Government at Odds with the Kurds Over Tribal Councils
Tension increases between the Kurds and al-Maliki’s government in Iraq. President Talabani, a Kurd, and Prime Minister al-Maliki continue to battle over the Prime Minister’s plan to create ‘tribal councils’ loyal to his government.
The Kurds feel these councils will turn into illegal armed groups outside of the purview of the national army. The Kurds fear that these councils will be used to undermine their authority in northern Iraq, and will constitute a new armed faction at a time of increasing disagreement between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdish Regional Government.
The Kurds have expanded their influence and zone of control beyond the recognized borders of their territory and conflict is most noticeable in the cities of Kirkuk, and Mosul.
The Kurds rely on their own militias, the peshmerga, to retain control of their regions. Many of the peshmerga have been integrated into the national army though they tend to remain in homogeneous units.
The New York Times covers more on this story and reports that:
President Jalal Talabani, who is a Kurd, said at a news conference on Monday that on behalf of the Executive Council — made up of him and the two vice presidents — he would be sending the question to the Federal Supreme Court for a ruling on the constitutionality of the councils.