Iraqi troops gain control over the city of Kirkuk

  • Dominika Jandová
  • 17.10.2017 19:54

The Iraqi army announced on Monday 16 October that after an offensive lasting for several hours it entered the city of Kirkuk controlled by Kurdish militias and gained control over strategic buildings and areas such as the K1 military base, a refinery and oil and gas fields.

The army launched its attack on these areas from the south and west with support from pro-Iran Shia militias on Monday. According to Baghdad, Kurdish Peshmerga units withdrew without fighting but clashes were reported south of Kirkuk. Iraq-backed forces took control over the city of Sinjar in the northeastern Ninive province the very next day. The operation is the result of the September Kurdish referendum on independence, whose results the Iraqi Kurds refuse to cancel. The situation is further complicated by the disparity of the Kurdish factions who differ in their stances on the referendum and defend their own interests. In response, the US is considering suspending its extensive military support and training of Iraqi forces if the Iraqi offensive against the Kurds continues. This growing tension undermines the efforts to fight the Islamic State and raises concerns about a possible civil war.

About author: Dominika Jandová

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