Published: Tue, October 17, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Iraqi president calls for end to 'conflict' in Kirkuk

Iraqi president calls for end to 'conflict' in Kirkuk

"The coalition is monitoring movements of military vehicles and personnel in the vicinity of Kirkuk, he said".

Gunfire and explosions rang out Monday as Iraqi forces moved to take control of a Kurdish-held military base and oil fields outside the disputed city of Kirkuk, raising the specter of a showdown between two US -armed allies in the fight against Islamic State.

Others grabbed weapons and descended into the streets to help defend Kirkuk against what the Kurdish Region Security Council described as "a major, multi-pronged operation" meant to enter the city and take over a key airbase and oil fields. Kurdish party headquarters inside Kirkuk had been abandoned.

The dispute over Kirkuk pits two close USA allies in the war against the Islamic State group against each other. It said the limited exchange of fire was a "misunderstanding".

The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service, police forces and the army's ninth brigade regained control of a vast territory in Kirkuk including the oil well, Baba Gurgur, without clashing with the Peshmerga forces located in Kirkuk.

Iraq's prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, had denounced the vote as unconstitutional. He called on the Peshmerga to serve under federal authority as part of the Iraqi armed forces.

In a statement, Turkey said it would stand by Baghdad to provide peace and stability, and was ready to work with Iraq's central authorities to end the presence of the outlawed Kurdish militant group PKK, which has fought an insurgency in Turkey.

"The United States provided equipment and training to the government of Iraq to fight ISIS [Daesh]... not to attack elements of one of its own regional governments", McCain stated following reports of clashes between Iraqi forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga in northern Iraq.

Kirkuk, a city of more than a million people with a large Kurdish community, lies just outside KRG territory, but Peshmerga forces were stationed there in 2014 when Iraqi security forces collapsed in the face of an Islamic State onslaught. His claims could not be independently verified.

Bets on overtime in basketball
But on the other hand, there are clubs like "Phoenix" or "San Antonio", which only once in the "regular" played overtime. Bookmaker offices, as a rule, estimate the probability of a draw with coefficients from 10.00 to 15.00.

”Kurdish leaders we consider as our brothers have agreed to hand over control of North Oil and North Gas company facilities who belong to the state, ‘' said a military commander involved in the operation.

Pro-PUK forces were deployed south of the city, including at oil fields, while fighters loyal to the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), linked to Iraqi Kurd leader Massud Barzani who initiated the referendum, were deployed to the north.

Tensions between the two sides have been running especially high since Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly voted for secession in a September 25 referendum that Baghdad rejected as illegal.

The conflict between Kurdistan and the Iraqi government over land and oil is decades old, but a Kurdish referendum for independence last month inflamed the tensions.

Kurdish leaders who met to discuss the crisis in the town of Dokan renewed their offer to "resolve peacefully" the crisis with Baghdad, Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani's aide, Mr Hemin Hawrami, said.

Kurdish forces have been in control of six fields in the Kirkuk region providing some 340,000 of the 550,000 barrels per day exported by the regional administration. The role of the PMU, supported by Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corp, is a complicating factor as US President Donald Trump has vowed to push back against Iran's "destabilizing" activities in the Middle East.

As well as heavily armed federal troops, members of the Hashed al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation forces, which are dominated by Iran-backed Shiite militias, have massed around Kirkuk.

In a statement read on state television early Monday, Abadi took a placatory but firm stance, saying it was his constitutional duty to protect the unity of a country that was in danger of being divided while Iraq was fighting "an existential war against terror".

State-run Al-Iraqiya TV had earlier reported that federal forces rolled into parts of the countryside outside Kirkuk without facing resistance.

Like this: