Q&A: Mohammed Zain Abedin, Hashid commander in Kirkuk

The top Hashid commander in Kirkuk discusses rising military tensions after Kurdistan's independence referendum.
Q&A: Mohammed Zain Abedin, Hashid commander in Kirkuk
Mohammed Zain Abedin at his office in Kirkuk city on Oct. 12, 2017. (RAWAZ TAHIR/Iraq Oil Report)

KIRKUK - Paramiiltary groups organized under the government's al-Hashid al-Shabi (Popular Mobilization) program are massed outside Kirkuk following the liberation of Hawija from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Tensions are running high after the Kurdistan Regional Government's Sept. 25 non-binding indpendence referendum. By including Kirkuk in the vote, the KRG implicitly signaled that the oil-rich territory – which is claimed by both the federal government and the Kurdistan region – was included in its secession plans.

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