Baku, Azerbaijan, June 17
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Iraqi Turkmens are taking up arms against the terrorist group known as 'The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL), Turkey's Anadolu news agency quoted the Iraqi Turkmen Front head Ershad Salihi as saying on June 17.
The capture of Iraq's Tal Afar city, densely populated by Turkmens, prompted them to take such a step.
Previously, Salihi turned to Turkey asking for protection of the Iraqi Turkmens.
"The citizens of all ethnic groups enjoy the support of the Iraqi government and only the Iraqi Turkmens are deprived of this," he said.
The Iraqi Turkmen Front head underscored that the Iraqi Turkmens, especially those residing in the country's northern part, do not feel they are protected by Iraq's central government.
The Iraqi Turkmens account for 11 percent of the country's population.
The Iraqi army lost control over the country's Samarra city on June 13. This is the third city in Iraq, which is completely controlled by the militants of the ISIL group.
Earlier, the ISIL captured the cities of Mosul and Tikrit.
Reportedly, despite the fact that Kirkuk is controlled by Peshmerga (special forces, subordinate to the Kurdish administration), the fights are continuing in several residential areas in northern Iraq between Peshmerga and the ISIL.
On June 10, the ISIL militants captured the administrative center of the Mosul of the northern Iraqi Province of Ninawa, a number of small settlements, as well as part of the Salah al Din Province, including its center - the city of Tikrit.
The militants took control of the Tal Afar city on June 16.
Edited by CN