Tampa Bay Times
Troop movement halted for 24 hours
Iraq’s prime minister on Friday issued a 24-hour suspension of the movement of troops who are deployed in Iraq’s north to bring territory held by Kurdish forces back under federal control. The order was given to “prevent clashes and bloodshed between the sons of one nation,” Haider al-Abadi said in a written statement. The announcement follows conflicting reports from the U.S.-led coalition that a cease-fire had been reached between Kurdish forces and troops deployed by Iraq’s central government. After initially announcing a cease-fire, the Coalition said the statement was incorrect, but added talks were ongoing. Escalating tensions between Irbil and Baghdad erupted in violence earlier this month following a controversial referendum on independence held by the Kurds in September.