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Kurdish Peshmerga denies news on troops return to disputed regions

Kurdish Peshmerga forces. File photo.


Erbil (IraqiNews.com) The Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry has denied news on return of the troops to the disputed regions, stressing refusal of side agreements that take place in this regard without involving it.

Jamal Iminiki, the chief of staff of the Peshmerga, said in remarks that they are unaware of the return of Peshmerga to Kirkuk.

News reports quoted a source from U.S. Pentagon, Wednesday, as saying that special forces of Peshmerga accessed Kirkuk, after coordination with Baghdad. However, the pro-government al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) denied news that Kurdish troops accessed Kirkuk province, saying that remarks made by the Pentagon is an attempt to stir controversy among people in the province.

On Wednesday, Peshmerga Ministry announced holding a round of meetings along with the federal Defense Ministry in attendance of U.S. officials representing the International Coalition over formation of a joint task force at the regions, where sovereignty is disputed on between Baghdad and Erbil.

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 the 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 ts independence referendum on September 25, from Iraq, urging Peshmerga to cooperate with federal troops.

The disputed regions has been one of the main conflict issues between Baghdad and Erbil for 14 years. The area of those regions reach around 37 square kilometers.


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