U.S. troops raided the KDP offices in Kirkuk Saturday night, seizing AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. The Americans also arrested a senior KDP leader. A PUK office also was raided.
The raids are connected to the “recent ethnic violence”:http://www.back-to-iraq.com/archives/000637.php between Turkmen, Arabs and Kurds in Kirkuk that has left almost 20 people dead since “August”:http://www.back-to-iraq.com/archives/000445.php#000445. Six have been killed since last week.
“We are disappointed by this,” said Mohammad Sabir, chief PUK representative in Washington when I contacted him this afternoon. “We are very close to the U.S. but I don’t know [the reason for] the raid. Maybe some Turkmen or Arabs gave them information that the PUK had many weapons. I don’t know, really.”
He added that the PUK was working to clear up any misunderstanding.
The KDP representative in D.C., Farhad Barzani, said he knew nothing about the raid and couldn’t comment.
The “Kurdistan Democratic Party”:http://www.kdp.pp.se/ and the “Patriotic Union of Kurdistan”:http://www.puk.org are the two main Kurdish parties in Iraq and have been pushing for a federal system guaranteeing Kurds “significant autonomy”:http://www.back-to-iraq.com/archives/000046.php#000046 since last year. Arabs, Turkmen and surrounding countries have all expressed alarm and displeasure over the idea of significant Kurdish autonomy.