Kur­dis­tan re­gion says Iraqi forces pre­par­ing ma­jor at­tack

Daily News - - WORLD -

BAGH­DAD: Iraqi govern­ment forces and Ira­nian-trained Iraqi paramil­i­taries are “pre­par­ing a ma­jor at­tack” on Kur­dish forces in the oil-rich re­gion of Kirkuk and near Mo­sul in north­ern Iraq, the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG) said yes­ter­day.

But an Iraqi mil­i­tary spokesman de­nied any at­tack on Kur­dish forces was planned and said that govern­ment troops were in­stead pre­par­ing to oust Is­lamic State (IS) mil­i­tants from a bor­der area with Syria in the west of Iraq.

Ten­sions be­tween the KRG and the Iraqi govern­ment have been run­ning es­pe­cially high since the Iraqi Kurds over­whelm­ingly voted for in­de­pen­dence last month.

The Kur­dish-held multi-eth­nic re­gion of Kirkuk has be­come a flash­point in the cri­sis as it is claimed by both sides.

Iraqi forces and Shi’ite paramil­i­taries, known as Pop­u­lar Mo­bil­i­sa­tion, are de­ployed south and west of Kirkuk.

“We’re re­ceiv­ing dan­ger­ous mes­sages that Iraqi forces, in­clud­ing Pop­u­lar Mo­bil­i­sa­tion and Fed­eral Po­lice, are pre­par­ing a ma­jor at­tack on Kur­dis­tan,” said the KRG’s Se­cu­rity Coun­cil in a tweet con­firmed by a Kur­dish of­fi­cial. – Reuters

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