Kurds seek more security cooperation with Baghdad

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By Fiyan Farouk

Azzaman, December 23, 2013

The head of the Kurdish Intelligence service in northern Iraq wants to see more cooperation on security issues between the central government in Baghdad and the regional Kurdish government in Arbil.

Nazhat Hali, the head of the Kurdish intelligence service known locally as Paristan, said the sides were called upon to distance their joint security concerns from their political and economic differences.

Hali said his office “foiled an attack by a Syrian suicide bomber” recently. However, he gave no details on the would-be attacker, the location of his arrest or the target.

But he said the number of Syrians fleeing their country and seeking refuge in the relatively quiet Kurdish region currently amounted to 250,000 people.

“The exodus of great numbers of refugees to any country will create economic burdens to that country, with negative impact on security,” he said. “So far there are 250,000 refugees in the Kurdish region and we hope for the conditions to settle down in Syria so that they can return home.”

Hali said the pace of security coordination with Baghdad was insufficient.

“There is security cooperation but it is not at the required level. We welcome any mutual coordination to combat terror … and we should not mix between the security file and other files related to political issues,” he added.

There has been an upsurge in insecurity in Iraq with violence claiming hundreds of lives every month.