Interior minister promises transition to civilian policing
KIRKUK, January 25 – Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari announced on Thursday that the Kirkuk police are prepared to take over urban security in the province, marking a significant shift from military to police control in this strategically important region.
This transition is part of an agreement made prior to the formation of the current Iraqi cabinet, aimed at transferring security responsibilities to local police across various provinces after a period of military oversight. This transition was a key Kurdish demand.
The move signifies a step towards normalizing the fragile situation in Kirkuk, which has seen flare-ups in violence between security forces and Kurdish protesters recently.
The security situation in Kirkuk has been particularly delicate following the emergence and subsequent defeat of ISIS in the region.
Both Iraqi military and associated paramilitary forces have played key roles in maintaining security after Kurdish control was reversed in 2017 by Iraqi forces taking over disputed territories following the Kurdistan independence referendum.