World Bulletin / News Desk
The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) on Saturday welcomed the U.S. call on KRG and Iraq to cease violence and restore calm.
In a statement KRG said, it was "ready to cooperate with an international coalition led by the U.S. to support a ceasefire between Peshmerga and Iraqi forces."
KRG added that it welcomed negotiations with Baghdad within the framework of the Iraqi constitution but without any preconditions.
Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman in a statement on Friday, called on both parties to put an end to violence.
The U.S. also urged the Iraqi central government to limit movements in disputed areas in order to reduce tensions.
"The United States is concerned by reports of violent clashes around the town of Altun Kupri in northern Iraq," she said, adding that the U.S. welcomed Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi’s instruction to federal forces to protect Iraqi Kurdish citizens and not provoke them.
On Sept. 25, Iraqis in KRG-controlled-held areas -- and in several disputed parts of the country -- voted on whether or not to declare independence from the Iraqi state.
According to poll results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of those who cast ballots voted in favor of independence.
The illegitimate referendum faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors (including the U.S., Turkey and Iran), who warned that the poll would distract from Iraq’s fight against terrorism and further destabilize the region.
Earlier this week, Iraqi joint forces -- including army troops, Federal Police units, and Hashd al-Shaabi fighters -- entered the oil-rich Kirkuk province following a tactical withdrawal by Peshmerga forces.
The Iraqi forces swiftly assumed control of the province’s strategic facilities, including the North Oil Company, Baba Gurgur oilfield, K1 military base, Mullah Abdullah oil refinery, Kirkuk’s main airport, and the Tikrit Bridge, among others.
After the Iraqi security forces assumed full control of northern Kirkuk's Altun Kupri, violent clashes with Peshmerga occurred on Friday. Artilleries and Katyusha rocket launchers were used during the clashes. While no reporters were allowed to the conflict-scene, Erbil-Kirkuk highway was closed with the exception of military vehicles.Last Mod: 23 Ekim 2017, 00:03