Iraqi displaced people wait to receive aids delivered by the Kurdish government and a charity organization on September 28, 2017. Photo: Rudaw/Bakhtiyar Qadir
SORAN, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdish immigration office on Thursday delivered humanitarian assistance to nearly 12,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) accommodated in Soran area. This comes at a time when the Iraqi parliament on Wednesday meted out some harsh punishments to Erbil in response to the recent Kurdish independence referendum.
“We have brought three trucks of food from Erbil, which include essential food and medical items, to deliver to the IDPs [who have been given refuge] in the city of Soran and its surrounding areas like Rawanduz, Khalifan and Mergasur where many of our Arab brothers reside,” Director of Immigration Office in Erbil Baqi Hawrami told Rudaw.
The aid was dedicated by the Kurdistan Region’s immigration office and the Barzani Charity Foundation.
Over a million IDPs from Iraq fled to the Kurdistan Region after ISIS captured large territories of Iraq, including the country’s second biggest city, Mosul. Many of these refugees have now returned to their places, but some are still left as the rest of the country is being cleared from ISIS militants.
“This is at a time where Erbil is being punished by Baghdad,” Hawrami said, adding that they have been striving to ensure “these Arab brother refugees have no shortages.”
Relations between Baghdad and Erbil turned sour after the Kurdistan Region went ahead with its planned independence referendum on September 25, with the overwhelming majority of the Kurds voting for Kurdistan’s independence from Iraq.
The referendum drew some harsh responses from Iraq on Wednesday, with its parliament issuing punitive measures against the Kurdistan Region, including the demand to hand over its air and land ports or face their closure, along with a decision to send Iraqi military forces to all Kurdistani or disputed areas outside the administration of the Kurdistan Region.