Iraq has again engaged in conflicts after the country’s security forces finally launched an offensive against the Peshmerga forces to retake the critical resources of Kirkuk.
The security forces of Iraq and the Kurdish forces have been in a military stand of at the Kirkuk border after the Iraqi Kurdistan hold a referendum for Independence.
The Iraqi security forces target to retake the oil fields in Kirkuk and strategic a military base.
The Iraqi army’s Lieutenant Colonel Salah el-Kinani told Reuters that the objective of the offensive is to take control of K1 airbase.
According to Iraq’s state television, the security forces have already taken control of enormous periphery of Kirkuk without any Kurdish resistance.
The Kurdish sources, however, denied the Iraqi security forces claim that they took control of the areas of Kirkuk.
The oil-rich Kirkuk is strategically critical to the Iraqi government. The Kurdish people, on the other hand, regard Kirkuk as their Jerusalem.
Neither the Iraqi government nor the Kurdish Regional Government is prepared to let go of oil-rich Kirkuk.
The Kurdish news portal Rudaw cited an unnamed Peshmerga commander who reported of clashes between the two sides at Taza Khurmatu.
Earlier The Kurdistan Region Security Council said in a Twitter post, a group of Iran-trained Shia militias called Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) was on a march “to enter the city and take over (the) K1 base and oil fields.”
Kurdistan Security Council said in a statement “At approximately 0230hrs they attacked Peshmerga Forces from two fronts in the Taza-Kirkuk intersection and Maryam Bag bridge, both in South of Kirkuk, using US military equipment, including Abrams tanks and Humvees.”
The statement demanded of Peshmerga destroying “at least five US Humvees used by PMF. Peshmerga will continue to defend Kurdistan, its people, and interests. This was an unprovoked attack following days of Iraqi military deployments to Kurdistan’s borders.”
After the Iraqi forces launched their offensives in Taza Khurmatu, Peshmerga forces left their positions in Tal Alwad, southwest of Kirkuk without any fighting, and Taza Khurmatu, south of Kirkuk after fierce fighting.
Kurdish Rudwa reported, “A Peshmerga unit is now being deployed back to Tal Alwad.”
The news portal also reported Hemin Hawrami explaining the Peshmerga leaving the spots. It said, “Hemin Hawrami, senior assistant to the Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, said that the Peshmerga left the two positions due to “internal issues” between the officials of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK], the dominant party in Kirkuk with own security forces and Peshmerga. He also claimed that there were some “ambiguous dealings,” that resulted in the withdrawal.”