Baghdad set to pay salaries of KRG Peshmerga, civil servants, Iraqi PM Abadi says

Published 31.10.2017 19:30
Updated 01.11.2017 15:48
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters gather north of Kirkuk, Iraq October 19, 2017. (REUTERS Photo)
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters gather north of Kirkuk, Iraq October 19, 2017. (REUTERS Photo)

The central Iraqi government is planning to start paying the salaries of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and civil servants working for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) soon, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters on Tuesday.

The KRG has been struggling to pay the Peshmerga and its employees since 2014, after Baghdad stopped payments to it because of a dispute about oil-sharing revenue.

"We will soon be able to pay all the salaries of the Peshmerga and the employees of the region," Abadi told reporters at a press conference in Baghdad.

The cost of a three-year war on Daesh added to the KRG's financial difficulties, and Iraqi troops captured the oil region of Kirkuk from Peshmerga forces two weeks ago, halving the KRG's oil income.

Paying Peshmerga salaries would help defuse tensions in the northern Iraqi region, where a referendum vote in favor of KRG independence in September triggered economic and military retaliation from the Iraqi government.

Abadi also said that government forces had secured all parts of Iraq disputed between the central government and the KRG, accusing certain KRG-linked media outlets, which he did not identify by name, of "openly inciting violence against federal forces."

"Such incitement by Kurdish channels is unacceptable," the prime minister asserted.

Abadi said the Iraqi government has taken control of all the disputed territories in the country and vowed to liberate Al-Qaim, the largest town still held by Daesh in Iraq, soon.

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