ERBIL — The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has handed over 176 Islamic State (IS) detainees to the local administration and tribal leaders of Kirkuk without having the approval of the Interior Ministry of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), an official statement said on Thursday.
Earlier on Wednesday, BasNews reported that the PUK had struck a deal with the Baghdad-appointed governor of Kirkuk and the Arab tribal leaders of the disputed Kurdish province to hand over 176 IS detainees, a move that has led to a massive public backlash.
“We emphasize that the Kurdistan Regional Government was not notified about the detention of the suspects and about the handover,” KRG’s Interior Ministry said in an official statement.
“There are certain mechanisms to coordinate with the federal authorities, which are organized in advance by the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government [of Iraq] based on laws and regulations. The handover of these suspects has been conducted outside these mechanisms,” the statement added.
Earlier today, the families of the fallen Peshmerga fighters spoke to media and condemned PUK’s move, saying that those responsible for the blood of their beloved ones are now being handed over to prepare them for their release.