Kirkuk residents want Turkey to help reconstruct city

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 25.07.2018 21:15

Residents of Iraq's Kirkuk are seeking Turkey's support for reconstructing the oil-rich city after parts of Kirkuk province were liberated from the Daesh terrorist group last year, a local official said Tuesday.

"We want our neighbor Turkey, which is successful in the field of construction and reconstruction, to make development investments in our destroyed regions," Hatem et-Taii, a member of the Arab Council in Kirkuk, told Anadolu Agency (AA).

He said although the province's southern districts and towns were liberated from Daesh around 10 months ago, locals have not been able to return to their homes.

"Thousands of locals and migrants are struggling to survive in tent cities in eastern part of the city center," Taii said.

Emphasizing that they are counting on Turkish construction firms and working standards, Taii expressed that they would like to see Turkish firms in reconstruction period of the dozens of villages that were destroyed by the Daesh. Coordinator of the Kirkuk municipality's public works board, Saddam en-Niemi also said that more than hundred villages of Havice town of the city, which was occupied by Daesh for three years, destroyed to the level that no one can live in there anymore, stating that they want the town to have the priority when it comes to reconstructing the city. Gassan Asi, the leader of Ubeyd tribe of Kirkuk, also stated that they need the assist of Turkey while reconstructing the areas that were damaged heavily during the struggle with Daesh, while adding that they admire the works of Turkey in reconstruction areas.

Reminding that 120 villages that belong to Arabs in the southern part of Kirkuk are destroyed due to the terrorist activities, Asi said that although it has been quite a while since the region is cleared from Daesh, there has not been any attempts to rebuild the villages. Last December, officials in Baghdad declared that the Daesh terrorist group's military presence in Iraq had been all but dismantled after a three-year war.

Upon the instructions of Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, federal forces launched military operations on Oct. 16 with a view to securing Iraq's oil-rich Kirkuk province and other territories "disputed" between the KRG and Baghdad.The Peshmerga, which had held these territories since mid-2014, withdrew without incident, leaving them to Iraqi federal forces.

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