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WikiLeaks: 2007-02-17: 07BAGHDAD559: Ninewa: Kurds' Headlong Rush Towards KRG Expansion

by WikiLeaks. 07BAGHDAD559: February 17, 2007.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 08:51 PM UT


Viewing cable 07BAGHDAD559, NINEWA: KURDS' HEADLONG RUSH TOWARDS KRG

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BAGHDAD559 2007-02-17 13:53 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO1040
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0559/01 0481353
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 171353Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9693
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BAGHDAD 000559 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/17 
TAGS: PGOV PBTS PREF KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: NINEWA:  KURDS' HEADLONG RUSH TOWARDS KRG 
EXPANSION 
 
REF: A. (A) 06 BAGHDAD 02048 (B) 06 BAGHDAD 04364 
     B. (C) 06 BAGHDAD 04584 (D) BAGHDAD 00455 
 
Classified By: Ninewa PRT Team Leader James Knight: 
1.4 (B) and (D). 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1.  (C) Kurds in Ninewa continue to press forward to 
incorporate significant areas of Ninewa Province 
into the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) through 
the 'disputed territories' process foreseen by 
Article 140 of the current Iraqi Constitution.  In 
this headlong effort, Ninewa's Kurdish Alliance 
leadership appears to be reaching far beyond law or 
regulation so far promulgated for the Article 140 
process.  Kurd efforts are being pursued with 
single-minded imperiousness which is uniting 
Ninewa's Sunni majority and most minorities against 
the KRG expansion agenda -- most anti-KRG voices 
point out that violent opposition to the process is 
inevitable if it continues to move forward in this 
way.  END SUMMARY. 
 
------------------------- 
THE VIEW FROM MOSUL . . . 
------------------------- 
 
2.  (C) Ninewa's Deputy Governor Khasro Goran is the 
Kurdistan Democratic Party Chair for the province 
and head of the Kurdish Alliance, whose list won 30 
of the 41 seats on Ninewa's Provincial Council in 
the 2005 provincial elections.  Khasro is the 
leading proponent of KRG expansion in Ninewa; Ninewa 
PRT IPAO Holtsnider met Khasro 31 January to clarify 
incidental discussion of Khasro's disturbing current 
views on the Article 140 process with Team Leader 
Knight at an earlier unrelated meeting. 
 
3.  (C) Khasro's current effort pivots on the 
'normalization, census, referendum' process outlined 
by Article 140, but adds a disconcerting element of 
directed rather than electoral resolution.  Khasro 
currently believes that 'normalization' will include 
land grants and compensation to Arabization settler 
families that return to their pre-1968 place of 
residence.  In Ninewa, such returning families will 
receive ID 5 mn (about USD 3,900).  Returnee 
households must register with the local authorities 
and provide proof of pre-1968 residency. Land 
disputes arising from such resettlement will be 
resolved by the Iraq Property Claims Commission 
(IPCC).  Goran is optimistic that renormalization 
will be well underway in March 2007 for the 
districts of Sinjar, Tal'Afar, Tal Kaif, Shikhan, 
Hamdaniya, Makhmur, and portions of Mosul district. 
 
4.  (C) In Khasro's view, Districts and Sub- 
Districts will be returned to their pre-1968 
provincial assignments as part of the 
'normalization' process. These realignments will be 
formalized by letters originating from the President 
of Iraq.  Per Khasro, if the GOI acts at the 
national level, assignment of a district to a 
province in the KRG will obviate the need for a 
referendum there since such territories will longer 
be disputed.  Only in cases where the GOI cannot 
come to consensus at the national level will 
referenda proceed. 
 
5.  (C) Khasro expects that the census required by 
the Article 140 process will be satisfied by the 
Iraqi national census anticipated summer 2007. 
After the census is completed, referenda will 
ascertain whether voters in each 'territory' -- 
i.e., those remaining in dispute after GOI 
reassignments to former provinces -- wish to join 
the KRG. 
 
6.  (C) Khasro stated that he believes the Article 
140 process overrides provincial elections -- which 
in any case should be scheduled after disputed 
territories are resolved.  Accordingly, he believes 
provincial elections are unlikely to occur in 2007. 
 
--------------------------------- 
. . . FROM UPCOUNTRY NINEWA . . . 
--------------------------------- 
 
BAGHDAD 00000559  002 OF 003 
 
 
 
7.  (C) After this discussion with Khasro, Ninewa 
IPAO Holtsnider followed up with meetings 6-7 
February with Mayor of Sinjar District Dakhel Qasim 
Hassoun, Ba?aj District Mayor Abdulrahim Qasim 
Muhammad, and Zumar District Mayor Mizahim Sulaiman 
al-Sa?doon.  All three indicated that the range of 
'disputed territories' continues to widen.  The 
Mayor of Ba?aj -- whose Sub-District of al-Adnaniya 
is a salient target for KRG expansion -- predicted 
that precipitous attempts to incorporate al-Adnaniya 
into the KRG will cause fighting quote that will 
last until the last man is killed unquote. 
 
8.  (C) The Sinjar District Mayor -- a KRG appointee 
-- was predictably more insouciant about the Article 
140 process.  He currently expects Sinjar to be 
assigned to the KRG at the national level without a 
referendum, in accordance with Khasro's program. 
 
------------------------------------------ 
. . . AND AT THE SINJAR ARTICLE 140 OFFICE 
------------------------------------------ 
 
9.  (C) Also on 7 February, IPAO Holtsnider met with 
the Director and staff of the Article 140 office 
recently established in Sinjar.  Office Director 
Saeed Jaradu Matto -- a KRG appointee -- leads a 
staff of seven currently compiling registers of Kurd 
families wishing to return to Sinjar and Arabization 
program settlers who might be induced to depart. 
 
10.  (C) Matto, unlike Khasro and the Mayor of 
Sinjar, continues to believe that Article 140 
referenda will be held in every disputed territory 
of Ninewa.  However, he also confirmed that the 
Article 140 process will encompass previously 
undisputed areas in Ninewa, including Tal Kaif 
District.  In Matto's understanding, 'normalization' 
will be completed by the end of March 2007; the 
necessary census will be undertaken in July 2007; 
and referenda will be scheduled in November 2007. 
Matto further noted that he hopes for U.S. 
facilitation of international donor support for 
Article 140 relocation compensation funds. 
 
------------------------ 
MINORITIES IN THE MIDDLE 
------------------------ 
 
11.  (C) Ninewa's minorities include several kinds 
of Christians, Shi'a and Sunni Turcomans, Yezidis, 
and Shabaks.  All are riven by factions, including 
divisions along the pro-/anti-KRG axis, but most of 
our interlocutors suggest that anti-KRG sentiment 
predominates.  While the USG and the KRG follow 
Christians and Turkey monitors Turcomans, Yezidis 
and Shabak have no strong external support. 
 
12.  (C) Yezidis are generally ignored in the 
Article 140 debate, but Kurds are often insistent 
that Shabak are in fact a Kurdish group.  Khasro in 
particular is insistent that the Shabak are in fact 
Kurds, and dismisses claims to the contrary. 
However, Ninewa's minorities as a whole are likely 
to join the province's Sunnis to resist KRG 
expansionism to the extent they believe it is safe 
to do so. 
 
13.  (C) The most significant minority group 
favoring the KRG are some Assyrian and other 
Christians currently benefiting from patronage 
channeled through KRG Minister of Finance Sarkesi. 
Sarkesi in particular favors establishment of a 
Christian area on the Ninewa Plain (basically 
between Mosul city and the KRG's current boundaries) 
which would be a de facto protectorate of the KRG -- 
again, this 'minority' agenda is generally believed 
to be another face of KRG expansionism. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
14.  (C) Some areas of Ninewa adjacent to the 
current KRG may be incorporated through the Article 
140 process without great anguish elsewhere in 
Ninewa -- particularly Makhmur and Shikhan Districts 
and the Sub-District of Zumar, as noted reftels. 
However, Kurdish expansionism elsewhere will meet 
 
BAGHDAD 00000559  003 OF 003 
 
 
resistance that will almost certainly be disruptive 
and may turn violent.  One recent example of fallout 
from preemptory Kurd efforts in favor of KRG 
expansion was the revolt of Sunni and minority 
Provincial Council members on 8 February (reftel D); 
more such instances are sure to follow. 
 
15.  COMMENT CONTINUED.   Ironically, the current 
guarantor of relative peace in Ninewa in this 
critical year is fear of the KRG's Peshmerga militia 
-- already widely deployed in Ninewa -- and the 
perceived likelihood that Peshmerga will forcibly 
intervene to protect KRG interests if resistance to 
those interests becomes violent.  END COMMENT. 
KHALILZAD

 



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