kurds iraqi forces in standoff as baghdad sets deadline
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
Arab Today, arab today

to avert fighting between its allies

Kurds, Iraqi forces in standoff as Baghdad sets deadline

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Kurds, Iraqi forces in standoff as Baghdad sets deadline

A Kurdish peshmerga fighter holds a position of Kirkuk city in an area where Iraqi forces are deployed.
Kirkuk - Arab Today

Thousands of Iraqi troops were locked in an armed standoff with Kurdish forces in the disputed oil-rich province of Kirkuk as Washington scrambled to avert fighting between its allies in the war against the Islamic State group.

The Kurds said Saturday that Baghdad had set a deadline for their forces to surrender positions they took during the fightback against the jihadists over the past three years.

The deadline, originally set for 2:00 am Sunday (2300 GMT Saturday), was extended by 24 hours during a meeting overnight, a Kurdish official said early Sunday, asking not to be named.

On Saturday, armoured vehicles bearing the Iraqi national flag were posted on the bank of a river on the southern outskirts of the city of Kirkuk, an AFP photographer reported.

On the opposite bank, Kurdish peshmerga fighters were visible behind an earthen embankment topped with concrete blocks and the red, white, green and yellow colours of the Kurdish flag.

"Our forces are not moving and are now waiting for orders from the general staff," an Iraqi army officer told AFP, asking not to be identified.

Just before midnight (2100 GMT) Iraqi forces used loudhailers to call on the peshmerga fighters to withdraw.

- Uncompromising message -

The standoff came as Iraqi President Fuad Masum, who is himself a Kurd, held crisis talks in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah.

Kirkuk's governor, a Kurd sacked by Baghdad but who refuses to quit his post, visited the peshmerga near the Bay Hassan and Havana oilfields with an uncomprising message for the Iraqi forces.

"The demands of the Hashed al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces) to evacuate Kirkuk and hand over control of the territory, its inhabitants and natural resources are totally unacceptable," Najm Eddine Karim told journalists at the scene.

He said the Kurds were in contact with the US-led international coalition against IS, which could observe the situation on the ground with its military overflights.

The two sides have been at loggerheads since the Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence in a September 25 referendum that Baghdad rejected as illegal.

- 'At any cost' -

Polling was held not only in the three provinces of the autonomous Kurdish region but also in adjacent Kurdish-held areas, including Kirkuk, that are claimed by both Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said there can be no further discussion of the Kurds' long-standing demands to incorporate Kirkuk and other historically Kurdish-majority areas in their autonomous region until the independence vote is annulled.

He insisted on Thursday that he was "not going... to make war on our Kurdish citizens".

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

They have already retaken a string of positions to the south of the city after Kurdish forces withdrew.

The Kurds have deployed thousands of peshmerga fighters to the area around Kirkuk itself and have vowed to defend the city "at any cost".

A peshmerga commander on the western front said Kurdish fighters had "taken all the necessary measures" and were "ready for a confrontation" if necessary.

- 'Stay focused' -

If "the other side makes the mistake of advancing, we'll give them a lesson they won't forget in a hurry", Kamal Kirkuki said.

The June 2014 lines are those that the Kurds held before IS jihadists swept through vast areas north and west of Baghdad, prompting Iraqi federal units to disintegrate and Kurdish forces to step in.

The Kurds control the city of Kirkuk and three major oil fields in the province that account for a significant share of the regional government's oil revenues.

Washington has military advisers deployed with both sides in the standoff and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday the United States was working to reduce tensions.

"We are trying to tone everything down and to figure out how we go forward without losing sight of the enemy," Mattis told reporters.

"Everybody stay focused on defeating ISIS. We can't turn on each other right now," he added, using an alternative acronym for IS.

Source: AFP

 

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

kurds iraqi forces in standoff as baghdad sets deadline kurds iraqi forces in standoff as baghdad sets deadline

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

kurds iraqi forces in standoff as baghdad sets deadline kurds iraqi forces in standoff as baghdad sets deadline

 



Arab Today, arab today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 11:23 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Arab Today, arab today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 11:14 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 13:38 2018 Thursday ,13 December

Maduro says meeting with Putin most useful in his career

GMT 10:40 2017 Monday ,03 July

Actor Mohamed Ramadan happy for reactions

GMT 12:21 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Ramez Galal’s new prank show is suffering

GMT 11:23 2017 Friday ,05 May

Komodo dragon attacks tourist in Indonesia

GMT 19:09 2016 Monday ,12 December

With Egyptian Commercial Consul in the UAE

GMT 16:47 2017 Tuesday ,22 August

Al-Wardi happy for renewing contract

GMT 04:58 2017 Tuesday ,10 January

Ronaldo, Ranieri scoop top FIFA awards

GMT 11:52 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Three ways to turn discarded wood into home decor

GMT 00:53 2017 Saturday ,22 April

Car bomb explodes in Somalia capital

GMT 08:40 2015 Sunday ,19 April

Amazing modern curved kitchen design ideas

GMT 05:29 2016 Tuesday ,18 October

Surprise! Rihanna joins McCartney at ‘Oldchella’

GMT 09:27 2017 Wednesday ,06 December

EU blacklists 17 tax havens

GMT 04:39 2017 Wednesday ,04 January

OIC condemns terrorist attack in Istanbul

GMT 16:43 2016 Thursday ,29 December

Optimism at last for US woman in Egypt jail

GMT 19:01 2016 Wednesday ,23 November

Mansour bin Zayed arrives in Algeria in official visit

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 November

Ratings boost for Saudi reform program

GMT 19:38 2016 Wednesday ,14 December

Gazprom Neft, Iran’s NIOC agree oil field studies
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday