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Iraq's Kurdish Parties Reject Call to Leave Liberated Areas

The five most prominent of Iraq's Kurdish parties rejected former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's call to retreat from the areas they liberated from the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) terrorist group.

Iraqi Kurdistan military forces, known as Peshmerga, are currently participating in the operation led by the Iraqi government forces and aiming to retake Iraq's second largest city of Mosul from the Daesh, outlawed in Russia and many other countries, including Russia. "We aren't going to give up on areas that have been liberated by blood," Shirin Raza Mohammed, a member of Iraq's Movement for Change party, said Thursday, as quoted by Rudaw news agency. According to the outlet, the other four main Kurdish parties expressed the similar point of view. "But in terms of the liberated areas such as Makhmour and Kirkuk, the Peshmerga will not retreat," Rebwar Taha, the representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), was quoted as saying.

Muthana Amin, head of the committee of the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), reportedly said that it would be a mistake for the Peshmerga to leave the liberated territories.

Kurdistan Region in Northern Iraq has its own parliament and is the only autonomous region in the country. In 2014, Kurdistan forces took over some disputed territories in the north of Iraq, which used to be populated mainly by the Kurds before their forced displacement initiated by the country's government in the second half of the 20th century.

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