The Iraqi army has downed a drone belonging to Kurdish Peshmerga forces -- loyal to the Erbil-based Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) -- in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, an army officer said Thursday.
“Army forces downed the drone near Al-Salamiyah village in the Nimrud district southeast of Mosul,” Army Captain Bassam Saad told Anadolu Agency.
Peshmerga spokesmen and KRG officials have yet to comment on the officer’s claims.
Earlier Thursday, Peshmerga forces reportedly cut the Erbil-Mosul road in Nineveh province.
The move was reportedly based on information obtained by the KRG’s security council that Iraqi forces, including Federal Police units and Hashd al-Shaabi fighters, were preparing to launch a “large-scale” offensive in the region.
Tension has mounted between the Iraqi government and the KRG since Sept. 25, when Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in some areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil (the KRG’s administrative capital) -- voted on whether or not to declare independence.
In the immediate aftermath of last month’s illegitimate referendum, Baghdad banned international flights from entering KRG-controlled areas and closed all foreign diplomatic missions based in the Kurdish region.