Tag Archives: Kirkuk

Kurds, still hoping for independence, fight on after losing Kirkuk

Kurds, still hoping for independence, fight on after losing KirkukIraqi Kurds, who voted for independence in a nonbinding referendum, have lost oil-rich Kirkuk to government forces, allegedly supported by Iranian militias. Kurdish leaders accuse the U.S. of helping their enemies, including known terrorists.



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Iraq orders 24-hour truce in standoff with Kurds over Kirkuk takeover by Iraqi forces

Iraq orders 24-hour truce in standoff with Kurds over Kirkuk takeover by Iraqi forcesKurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi forces agree to a 24-hour truce after fighting broke out Oct. 16 when Iraqi forces took control of Kirkuk.



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Denied Again: Kirkuk and the Dream of an Independent Kurdistan

Denied Again: Kirkuk and the Dream of an Independent KurdistanIn a closed-door meeting at a Washington think tank in July, I had the opportunity to ask a high-ranking Iraqi Kurdish official whether he worried that Kurds might be overplaying their hands in Iraq and Syria. My interlocutor, whose name frequently came up in recent discussions on the KRG’s independence and Kirkuk, politely dismissed my points and assured me that my worries were unfounded—especially in Iraq.



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Clashes as Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Clashes as Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk provinceIraqi forces clashed with Kurdish fighters Friday as the central government said it had wrested back control of the last area of disputed Kirkuk province in the latest stage of a sweeping operation after a controversial independence vote. Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said police, counter-terrorism units and allied militias seized the Altun Kupri region, extending the central government’s territory to within 50 kilometres (30 miles) of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region.



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Iraqi forces complete Kirkuk province takeover after clashes with Kurds

Iraqi forces complete Kirkuk province takeover after clashes with KurdsBy Maher Chmaytelli and Raya Jalabi BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) – Iraqi forces on Friday took control of the last district in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk still in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters following a three-hour battle, security sources said. The district of Altun Kupri, or Perde in Kurdish, lies on the road between the city of Kirkuk – which fell to Iraqi forces on Monday – and Erbil, capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq that voted in a referendum last month to secede from Iraq against Baghdad’s wishes.



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Isil attacks villages south of Kirkuk as Iraqi and Kurdish forces are distracted fighting each other

Isil attacks villages south of Kirkuk as Iraqi and Kurdish forces are distracted fighting each otherIslamic Stateof Iraq and the Levant (Isil)  jihadists attacked villages south of the city of Kirkuk yesterday, exploiting the growing crisis between Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the area. Three villages near the town of Daquq were briefly captured by Isil in a nighttime assault on Wednesday.  The region had until recently been controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, but they were driven out earlier this week by Iraqi forces looking to claim zones disputed with the Kurds after they voted last month to secede.   Isil had been mostly driven out of the province after an Iraqi army offensive in the major city of Hawija saw more than a thousand of its militants surrender.  Isil fighters surrender in Hawija But the current chaotic security situation has given Isil room to manoeuvre. The US and its coalition partners had warned Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani against holding the referendum, saying that pursuing independence would undermine the war Iraq was still fighting against Isil.  Washington has stressed it would like its allies in Iraq to work together against the militant group, and warned it may consider halting its massive train-and-equip program for Iraqi forces if they continued their offensive against the Kurds. “As long as there will be problems between Baghdad and Erbil, Isil extremists benefit from the conflicts,” said Kamal Chomani, a nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. “Isil can easily reorganise itself when there is a political and security vacuum, this is the strength of any extremist groups here as the ideology remains the same.” He said both Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia militia fighting with the Iraqi army are strong enough to control their areas now, but if conflicts intensified, both get weakened and Isil can easily gain ground. “I believe Baghdad thinks it's more important to move on the Kurds than to deal with remaining pockets of Isil in Iraq,” said Michael Pregent, a former US intelligence officer now with the Hudson Institute think-tank, told the Telegraph.   “I don't think it cares if Isil pops up here and there as long as it doesn't threaten non-Kurdish areas.” Members of Iraqi federal forces enter oil fields in Kirkuk, Iraq  Credit: Reuters Iraqi and Kurdish forces have slowly retaken territory from Isil over the past three years.  In July, they retook Mosul and effectively shattered its self-declared territorial caliphate. Despite the losses, however continues to carry out attacks in Iraq. Last month, an attack claimed by Isil at a checkpoint and restaurant in southern Iraq left more than 80 killed and 93 wounded. With relations continuing to deteriorate, a Baghdad court on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for the vice president of Iraqi Kurdistan on charges of "provocation" against Iraq's armed forces. About | Kirkuk Kosrat Rasul had referred to the Iraqi army and federal police as "occupation forces", the court said. In the statement, Mr Rasul, who is also vice president of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main Kurdish parties, criticised his own group for not having resisted the entry of Iraqi federal forces into the disputed northern city of Kirkuk on Monday. The judiciary in the Iraqi capital last week also ordered the arrest of three senior Kurdish officials responsible for organising a September 25 independence referendum that went ahead in defiance of Baghdad.



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US military rushes to defuse looming crisis in Kirkuk after Iraqi army advances

US military rushes to defuse looming crisis in Kirkuk after Iraqi army advancesIraqi forces patrol in the streets after they retake the control of the city center from peshmerga forces in Kirkuk, Iraq, on Monday. US military commanders are scrambling to stop a conflict escalating between two forces they arm and train, after the Iraqi army seized the contested, oil-rich city of Kirkuk, from Kurdish peshmerga. The Pentagon sought to play down the scale of clashes between the two sides, after forces loyal to the central government in Baghdad rapidly took over nearly all the city on Monday, and Kurdish forces abandoned their positions, retreating to nearby oilfields.



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Iraqi forces push into disputed Kirkuk as Kurds withdraw

Iraqi forces push into disputed Kirkuk as Kurds withdrawKIRKUK, Iraq (AP) — Two weeks after fighting together against the Islamic State group, Iraqi forces pushed their Kurdish allies out of the disputed city of Kirkuk on Monday, seizing oil fields and other facilities amid soaring tensions over last month's Kurdish vote for independence.



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The Latest: Iraqi forces seize oil fields in Kirkuk

The Latest: Iraqi forces seize oil fields in KirkukKIRKUK, Iraq (AP) — The Latest on Iraq, where federal forces have moved into the disputed northern city of Kirkuk as Kurdish forces have pulled out (all times local):



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The Latest: Iraqi PM calls for dialogue after Kirkuk

The Latest: Iraqi PM calls for dialogue after KirkukKIRKUK, Iraq (AP) — The Latest on developments in Iraq, day after Iraqi forces took back the disputed city of Kirkuk, forcing Kurdish fighters to leave (all times local):



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