RNA – During his Friday prayer sermon delivered to a large and fervent crowd of believers in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala’s Holy Shrine of Imam al-Husayn, Hujjat al-Islam Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbala’i said, “We welcome the recent political events and the development of security in Iraq and the arrival of the local army and police in Kirkuk Governorate and some of the areas that were liberated peacefully and without conflict.”
The representative of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani in Karbala added, “The presence of Iraqi forces in Kirkuk should not be considered as a victory for one front and a defeat for another but rather as a victory for all Iraqi people and for the interests of the country. This event should create a new page in national unity and solidarity.”
Hujjat al-Islam al-Karbala’i stated, “The only way for the various sections of the Iraqi people, including Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens, to achieve security, stability, comfort, equality and prosperity, is to reach out in solidarity and to work together to solve the problems of the past few years.”
He said, “We urge all movements and parties, especially political leaders and elites, to spread affection among the various classes of people through the means of national unity on the basis of the constitution through the provision of benefits for all individuals without exception, to avoid revenge in regard to recent actions, to reduce tensions in the common regions, to facilitate the return of refugees, to protect national interests and to prevent the refugees from being attacked, to control any racist and ethnic demonstrations and to not give permission for the broadcast of images and video clips, audio, placards, certain slogans and acts of provocation that undermine the unity of Iraq.”
His Eminence emphasized, “The security and affiliated agencies must deal with anyone who is on this unethical path that threatens the national security and peaceful life of the people.”
Hujjat al-Islam al-Karbala’i called on the government to support the Kurdish citizens of Iraq and said, “The government must ensure that they will use all their abilities to protect and care for the Kurdish citizens, as well as all other Iraqis, and will not take their rights.”
He added, “Kurdish leaders should also maintain the unity of their word and endeavour to overcome the existing crises by working with the federal government under the constitution.”
On October 16th, Iraqi government forces and allied fighters entered the disputed oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk. Kurdish Peshmerga forces withdrew without a fight and thus Iraqi troops recaptured some neighbourhoods, the Kirkuk provincial governor’s office, key military bases and several oil fields.
Thousands of civilians have returned to Kirkuk after fleeing as government forces pushed Kurdish militants out of the city and established security.