Turkish peace monitors in Kurdistan complete mission

Wext: Saturday, 25.September. @ 00:00:00 CEST



BAGHDAD, Sept 24 ( AFP ) -
11h37 - A Turkish-led force set up seven years ago to monitor a ceasefire between rival Kurdish factions in northern Iraq will be dissolved next month, the US military said Friday.

"The Turkish peace monitoring force, which was formed in 1997 to monitor a ceasefire between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), will be dissolved in early October," a statement said.

"The peace monitoring force is made up of approximately 400 local Iraqis, trained and led by members of the Turkish Armed Forces" it said.

The statement said violence had subsided between the two main Kurdish parties and that the force's presence was no longer needed.

The Iraqi peace monitors will be incorporated in the Iraqi Border Patrol and Iraqi National Guard, it added.

Fighting erupted between the rival factions in 1994 when their efforts to share rule in Iraqi Kurdistan, protected since 1991 from former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein by a US- and British-imposed no-fly zone, faltered.

The two sides signed a peace deal in 1998 but only ended their bitter feud in October 2002 in the run-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq.

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