Iraqi Forces Begin Attack on Kurdish-Held City of Kirkuk

(New York Times) David Zucchino - Iraqi state television said Monday that Iraqi forces had begun an operation to seize the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk and its surrounding oil fields. The Iraqi military operation would be the first use of military force by the government in Baghdad in response to an independence vote last month by the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Both the Iraqi Army and Kurdish peshmerga have been trained and equipped by the U.S. as part of the coalition battling Islamic State. Kurdish leaders vowed to fight any attempt by Iraqi forces to reclaim control of the Kirkuk area. The president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masoud Barzani, offered on Sunday to negotiate with Baghdad without conditions. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said he will not negotiate unless the Kurds annul the referendum results.

2017-10-16 00:00:00

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