At least 150 paramilitary personnel killed, injured during clashes in Kirkuk

Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

Kirkuk ( At least 150 paramilitary personnel were killed and injured during clashes that occurred between Kurdish troops against Iraqi troops in Kirkuk.

A statement by the command of Kurdish Peshmerga troops in western Kirkuk axis said, “al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] attacked our troops using U.S.-made weapons”

“The confrontations left two U.S. tanks and an armored vehicle destroyed,” the statement said adding “more than 150 armed PMFs personnel were killed and injured.”

Earlier on Friday, Iraqi government forces approached the southern borders of Erbil, capital of semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, shortly after engaging in clashes with the region’s forces in Qushtapa, a region extending along the southern borders of Erbil, and Altun Kupri in northern Kirkuk.

Iraqi troops, backed by PMFs, took over Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters rarlier this week, fulfilling instructions previously made by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to retake areas where sovereignty is disputed with Kurdistan Region’s Government.

The Iraqi military command said it became in control over all of the province’s oil fields, military bases and government facilities. The military takeover came after Kurdistan voted in September to secede from Iraq.

A medical official in Sulaymaniyah was quoted last week saying that Peshmerga deaths since the Iraqi incursion in Kirkuk stood at 84, with more than 160 wounded.

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