World Bulletin / News Desk
“Iraqi Federal Police and counter-terrorism forces, along with Hashd al-Shaabi fighters, have deployed in -- and imposed security on -- the sub-district,” the Iraqi Defense Ministry said in a statement.
“Altunkopru is now under the total control of federal forces,” the statement added.
Iraqi Army Captain Jabbar Hasan said on Thursday that Iraqi federal forces had given Peshmerga forces 24 hours to vacate their strongholds in Altunkopru and withdraw to areas controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
Peshmerga forces, however, had rejected the ultimatum, Hasan said.
According to the army officer, Iraqi counter-terrorism forces on Friday morning launched a wide-ranging operation aimed at capturing Altunkopru from Peshmerga deployed in the area.
He added that violent clashes were now underway -- featuring medium and heavy weapons, including artillery -- between Iraqi federal forces and Peshmerga fighters.