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In Pictures: Tension in Kirkuk
While people continue their day to day business an atmosphere of tension lies over Kirkuk.
Last updated: 18 Jun 2014 13:58
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The city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq used to lie in the zone disputed by Baghdad and the Kurdish authorities. One week ago it fell entirely under Kurdish control when, on June 12, the Iraqi army abandoned their bases and posts. They left in the face of rapid gains by the Sunni fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces immediately consolidated their control.

Iraqi army bases were stripped and looted of anything of value and Kurdish officials could scarcely hide their satisfaction at finally being in full control of Kirkuk.

Now the city is relatively calm but tense. The Iraqi Turkmen Front recently announced the mobilisation of a militia to protect their interests, both against ISIL but also against Kurdish expansion. The black market trade in weapons is thriving with traders openly selling weapons many of which were reportedly taken from Iraqi army bases.

People are glad that the Peshmerga are present and seem capable of defending them against the advances of ISIL but also unsure of what is next for Kirkuk, a city in which violence never feels far away.


/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

Turkmen militiamen gather at the headquarters of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) in Kirkuk. The head of the ITF, Arshad Salihi, announced the mobilisation of Turkmen militia in response to the ongoing crisis in Iraq.



/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

Salihi said that if the Kurdish forces didn't return control of Kirkuk to the Iraqi government at some point, the Turkmen community would have to "fight back".



/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

A Kurdish Peshmerga walks past graffiti on the wall of an Iraqi army base outside Kirkuk. The graffiti reads: "We will not leave Kirkuk."



/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

The base was abandoned by Iraqi troops and taken over by the Peshmerga in the face of rapid gains by ISIL.



/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera
Minorities such as the Turkmen do not necessarily trust the Kurdish authorities who are now completely in control of Kirkuk. Ethnic tension has long been present in the city.


/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera
The Turkmen in particular feel that their interests will not be looked after by the Kurdish authorities.


/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

More people dressed in civilian clothes and carrying arms can be seen on the streets in Kirkuk.



/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

Gun sellers and buyers pictured in the unofficial gun market in Kirkuk. While it could not be confirmed, many reported that guns looted from Iraqi army bases are entering the black market.



/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera
The market was busy and trading occurred openly in front of Kurdish security forces.


/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

Many people cite the illegal weapons trade that goes on in full view of police and security forces as evidence that they are not interested in maintaining law and order.



/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

Arshad Salihi (L) head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) speaks to an adviser about developments in the town of Tal Afar at the ITF's headquarters in Kirkuk.



/Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera
In this photo taken prior to the current conflict between the Iraqi government and ISIL, police patrol the ancient citadel of Kirkuk.



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images:
/mritems/images/2014/6/18/201461813711270217_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/201461813712304530_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/2014618137139916_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/201461813713177121_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/201461813713371315_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/201461813714766743_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/201461813714610884_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/201461813716490326_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/201461813716883772_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/201461813717509536_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/201461813717766167_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/6/18/20146181371823919_8.jpg
captions:

Turkmen militiamen gather at the headquarters of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) in Kirkuk. The head of the ITF, Arshad Salihi, announced the mobilisation of Turkmen militia in response to the ongoing crisis in Iraq.

;*;

Salihi said that if the Kurdish forces didn(***)t return control of Kirkuk to the Iraqi government at some point, the Turkmen community would have to "fight back".

;*;

A Kurdish Peshmerga walks past graffiti on the wall of an Iraqi army base outside Kirkuk. The graffiti reads: "We will not leave Kirkuk."

;*;

The base was abandoned by Iraqi troops and taken over by the Peshmerga in the face of rapid gains by ISIL.

;*;Minorities such as the Turkmen do not necessarily trust the Kurdish authorities who are now completely in control of Kirkuk. Ethnic tension has long been present in the city.;*;The Turkmen in particular feel that their interests will not be looked after by the Kurdish authorities. ;*;

More people dressed in civilian clothes and carrying arms can be seen on the streets in Kirkuk.

;*;

Gun sellers and buyers pictured in the unofficial gun market in Kirkuk. While it could not be confirmed, many reported that guns looted from Iraqi army bases are entering the black market.

;*;The market was busy and trading occurred openly in front of Kurdish security forces. ;*;

Many people cite the illegal weapons trade that goes on in full view of police and security forces as evidence that they are not interested in maintaining law and order.

;*;

Arshad Salihi (L) head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) speaks to an adviser about developments in the town of Tal Afar at the ITF(***)s headquarters in Kirkuk.

;*;In this photo taken prior to the current conflict between the Iraqi government and ISIL, police patrol the ancient citadel of Kirkuk. Daylife ID:
b31b5e67adb4300619457b2bf435c828
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera;*;Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Tension in Kirkukhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuken-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Wed, 18 Jun 2014 13:04:24 GMT__http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/__/f5ce5dba57e999c3a90c4479ac4f434b

Turkmen militiamen gather at the headquarters of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) in Kirkuk. The head of the ITF Arshad Salihi announced the mobilisation of Turkmen militia in response to the ongoing crisis in Iraq.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/__/f5ce5dba57e999c3a90c4479ac4f434bJacob Russell/Al Jazeera__

Turkmen militiamen gather at the headquarters of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) in Kirkuk. The head of the ITF Arshad Salihi announced the mobilisation of Turkmen militia in response to the ongoing crisis in Iraq.

__http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/__/e3ccd680932e3bca9d9685ec70aa2937

Salihi said that if the Kurdish forces didn't return control of Kirkuk to the Iraqi government at some point, the Turkmen community would have to "fight back."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/__/e3ccd680932e3bca9d9685ec70aa2937Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera__

Salihi said that if the Kurdish forces didn't return control of Kirkuk to the Iraqi government at some point, the Turkmen community would have to "fight back."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/1ac68b36424e98198c6f96a49a6018eb

A Kurdish Peshmerga walks past graffiti on the wall of an Iraqi army base outside Kirkuk. The graffiti reads "We will not leave Kirkuk"

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/1ac68b36424e98198c6f96a49a6018ebJacob Russell/Al Jazeera

A Kurdish Peshmerga walks past graffiti on the wall of an Iraqi army base outside Kirkuk. The graffiti reads "We will not leave Kirkuk"

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/5e41fc83193a4115f54acd697da13cc4

The base was abandoned by Iraqi troops and taken over by Peshmerga in the face of rapid gains by ISIS.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/5e41fc83193a4115f54acd697da13cc4Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

The base was abandoned by Iraqi troops and taken over by Peshmerga in the face of rapid gains by ISIS.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/3ffb58fd36d2d03b5733c2595bb3d75a

Minorities such as the Turkmen do not necessarily trust the Kurdish authorities who are now completely in control of Kirkuk. Ethnic tension has long been present in the city.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/3ffb58fd36d2d03b5733c2595bb3d75aJacob Russell/Al Jazeera

Minorities such as the Turkmen do not necessarily trust the Kurdish authorities who are now completely in control of Kirkuk. Ethnic tension has long been present in the city.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/390c7297b248cf725e78ea011aa9e960

As well as security forces more people dressed in civilian clothes and carrying arms can be seen on the streets in Kirkuk.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/390c7297b248cf725e78ea011aa9e960Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

As well as security forces more people dressed in civilian clothes and carrying arms can be seen on the streets in Kirkuk.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/e04a718d5b25e6a24fda6cc60dff2ce0

The Turkmen in particular feel that their interests will not be looked after by the Kurdish authorities.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/e04a718d5b25e6a24fda6cc60dff2ce0Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

The Turkmen in particular feel that their interests will not be looked after by the Kurdish authorities.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/8e93586b368153f1618bb2e83b5f5910

Gun sellers and buyers pictured in the unofficial gun market in Kirkuk. Whilst it could not be confirmed many reported that guns looted from Iraqi Army bases are entering the black market.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/8e93586b368153f1618bb2e83b5f5910Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

Gun sellers and buyers pictured in the unofficial gun market in Kirkuk. Whilst it could not be confirmed many reported that guns looted from Iraqi Army bases are entering the black market.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/ed4898b8bfca30fbfc3074d7b03eca68

The market was busy and trading occurred openly in front of Kurdish security forces.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/ed4898b8bfca30fbfc3074d7b03eca68Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

The market was busy and trading occurred openly in front of Kurdish security forces.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/9a79bad69fd239fe58b2c91bde43ad19

As well as security forces more people dressed in civilian clothes and carrying arms can be seen on the streets in Kirkuk.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/9a79bad69fd239fe58b2c91bde43ad19Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

As well as security forces more people dressed in civilian clothes and carrying arms can be seen on the streets in Kirkuk.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/b385d4b71a256401739f455e5b77f812

Arshad Salihi (L) head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) speaks to an advisor about developments in the town of Tal Afar at the ITF's headquarters in Kirkuk.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/b385d4b71a256401739f455e5b77f812Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

Arshad Salihi (L) head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) speaks to an advisor about developments in the town of Tal Afar at the ITF's headquarters in Kirkuk.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/843fae510a2f7eeef39aec87585a3b23

In this photo taken prior to the current conflict between the Iraqi government and ISIL, police patrol the ancient citadel of Kirkuk.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kirkuk/slideshow/no-caption/843fae510a2f7eeef39aec87585a3b23Jacob Russell/Al Jazeera

In this photo taken prior to the current conflict between the Iraqi government and ISIL, police patrol the ancient citadel of Kirkuk.



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