Kurdistan region President Masoud Barzani vows during a visit to Kurdish leaders in Kirkuk that the ethnic minority will not return the city to the federal government’s control:
We are not ready to relinquish even a hand’s width of Kurdish land. If Kirkuk at any time becomes part of the Kurdistan region again, it will be clear how well we will serve it.
Kurdish peshmerga fighters take complete control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk – known as the ‘Kurdish Jerusalem’ – after government troops flee as ISIS advances across the north of the country and takes the city of Mosul. Kirkuk governor Najmaldin Karim:
The army disappeared.
Shoresh Haji, a Kurdish member of Iraq’s Parliament:
I hope that the Kurdish leadership will not miss this golden opportunity to bring Kurdish lands in the disputed territories back under Kurdish control. It is a very sad situation for Mosul, but at the same time, history has presented us with only one or two other moments at which we could regain our territory, and this is an opportunity we cannot ignore.
The leader of Al-Maliki’s coalition says Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani’s effective annexation of the city of Kirkuk constitutes a declaration of war on the federal government. Adnan Al Shamahni notes that article 140 of the Iraqi constitution states that there should be a normalization followed by a referendum on disputed areas, including whether Kirkuk falls under control of the federal government or is part of the semi-autonomous region. He says the coalition will:
Abolish Barzani to the mountains
Outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki promises to turn the country into a ‘grave’ for ISIS. During an unannounced visit to the northern Shiite Turkmen town of Amerli, he orders promotions and awards for those who fought in the weekend battle to successfully break an ISIS siege:
I salute you for your steadfastness and patience against those beasts and killers … All Iraq will be a grave for those infidels, and we will send all the [ISIS] gang to death
The Maliki administration’s oil ministry refiles a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division, in Houston asking American authorities to seize a cargo of Kurdish oil waiting off the coast of Texas. The request amends an earlier complaint asking for U.S. law enforcement to seize about one million barrels of crude, worth about $100 million, if the tanker attempts to discharge the oil at Galveston. It is one of several tankers carrying oil pumped from Kurdistan. The Kurdistan Regional Government has 21 days to respond to the new suit to avoid a default judgment against it by the court. A KRG official says there is no legal basis for Baghdad’s claims, and the tanker remains parked off the coast of Texas.
Iraq’s parliament votes to officially name Abadi as Prime Minister and approves most of his appointments to the new cabinet. Abadi requests an additional week to name his appointments for security and defense ministers. Outgoing Prime Minister Maliki is given the post of co-vice president along with former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and former Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujeifi. Kurdish politician and former Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari is named as one of three deputy prime ministers while former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jafaari is named foreign minister. Abadi says in a speech that he shares the hopes of the international community that a more representative government in Iraq will reduce sectarian tensions and allow a united effort to improve the security situation. He pledges support for ongoing military operations against ISIS and other militant groups by the Iraqi military, armed volunteers and Kurdish forces:
[The government will] back the military operations in all the areas of confrontation against the armed gangs and the forces of terrorism and ensuring their continuation till victory is achieved.
The government’s Kurdish faction debates whether to join the parliamentary session for several hours beforehand, and eventually joins after the session has begun. Abadi says his administration will also address their concerns over representation:
My government is committed to solve all suspended issues with the Kurdistan Regional Government