Thousands of troops sent to Kirkuk to face “Iraqi threat”

A security guard is actually seen at the Tawke oil refinery near the village of Zacho, inside autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, on May 31, 2009.

ALI AL-SAADI | AFP | Getty Images

A security guard is actually seen at the Tawke oil refinery near the village of Zacho, inside autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, on May 31, 2009.

Kurdish authorities have sent thousands more troops to the oil region of Kirkuk to confront “threats” via Iraq’s central government, the vice president of the autonomous Kurdistan region said on Friday.

Tens of thousands of Kurdish soldiers were already stationed there as well as also another 6,000 have arrived since Thursday, Kosrat Rasul said, amid mounting tensions between the northern territory as well as also Baghdad.

Iraq’s government has taken a series of measures to isolate the region since Kurds held a Sept 25 referendum on independence, including banning international flights via going there as well as also calling for a halt to its crude oil sales.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has repeatedly said he has no plans to go further as well as also actually attack the territory.

however the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s Security Council expressed alarm late on Thursday at what in which said was a significant Iraqi military build-up south of Kirkuk “including tanks, artillery, Humvees as well as also mortars”.

“Tens of thousands of Kurdish Peshmerga as well as also security forces are already stationed in as well as also around Kirkuk,” Rasul said on Kurdish TV channel Rudaw. “At least 6,000 additional Peshmerga were deployed since Thursday night to face the Iraqi forces’ threat.”

The Kurds have repeatedly called for negotiations following the referendum in which an overwhelming majority voted for independence.

Kurdish Peshmerga moved into Kirkuk when the army collapsed inside face of Islamic State in 2014, preventing the region’s oil fields via falling inside hands of the militants.

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