Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi troops have been on high alerts in west of Mosul, after Erbil was declared to have stepped back from an agreement between with Baghdad.
Speaking to Anadolu agency, Lt. Gen. Abdul Illah al-Atroushi, an officer from Iraqi army, said on Thursday, “Rapid Response forces, Federal Police, Counter-Terrorism Service and National Security were deployed in Zummar.”
“Federal troops received clear orders from the supreme military command over being read for emergency that could occur over the coming few hours, especially that the situations have deteriorated as negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil came to end,” he said.
Troops, according to Attroushi, “were awaiting the end of talks to agree on moving toward positions, that are still controlled by Peshmerga in Zummar, as well Faysh Khabur region, which includes two strategic borders with Syria and Turkey.”
Since the morning, U.S.-led Coalition jets were seen flying above the region, he said.
The border crossing links between Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey. The crossing has been under focus after Iraqi authorities imposed strict measures on it after Kurdistan held its independence referendum on September 25.
Iraqi government forces approached the southern borders of Erbil, capital of semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, after taking over Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in October, fulfilling instructions made by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to retake areas where sovereignty is disputed with Kurdistan.
Baghdad had declared intentions to retake areas disputed on with Erbil following the Kurdistan Region’s vote for independence from Iraq in September, urging Peshmerga to cooperate with federal troops.