from rudaw.net by Nawzad Mahmoud June 17, 2014
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region - Kurdish forces are in control of all their claimed but disputed territories in Nineveh and Kirkuk, but facing a harder task in Diyala which is a stronghold of armed Islamist groups in Iraq, Kurdish officials said.
Large parts of Nineveh province, including the capital Mosul, fell into the hands of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last week, among them areas that fall within the “disputed territories” claimed by both the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government in Baghdad.
After the Iraqi army beat a hasty retreat and deserted en masse, the Kurds moved into areas left vacant by the fleeing soldiers.
“The Kurds have regained all of their conquered lands in Nineveh,” said Muhammed Ihsan, the KRG representative in Baghdad. “In the province, 100 percent of the taken areas have been retained by the Peshmerga forces” he said.
Out of nearly 36,000 square kilometers that make up Nineveh, “14,666 square kilometers are now under the control of the Peshmerga forces, and out of the hand of the Iraqi army and ISIS,” he said.
“Nineveh is the only province in which all the Kurdistani areas have been back in to the hands of the Peshmerga forces,” he added.