BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Secretary General of the White Bloc, Jamal al-Batiekh, called on the parliament to host President of Iraq's Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, to clarify the relation between the region and the federal government and to explain what he described as "his unconstitutional objection" on the formation of the Tigris Operations Command.
"The parliament should host President Massoud Barzani to explain his unconstitutional objection to the formation of the Tigris Operations Command and the latest tensions between Arbil and Baghdad," al-Batiekh said in a statement.
The new Tigris Operations Command, based in Kirkuk city and covering all of the province of the same name as well as neighboring Salah al-Din and Diala, has drawn an angry response from Kurdish leaders who want to incorporate much of the area into their autonomous region.
The latest dispute strikes at the heart of an unresolved row between Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government in Arbil over territory, oil and the interpretation of Iraq's federal constitution.
"The formation of the Tigris Operations Command in Kirkuk and Diala is an unconstitutional step by the Iraqi government," President Barzani said in recent remarks.
"The intentions, aims, formation and actions of this command centre are against the Kurdish people, the political process, co-existence and the process of normalising the situation in the disputed areas."
Maliki responded by warning Kurdish Peshmerga forces to "avoid provoking" Iraqi security forces.