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Iraqi and Kurdish forces face in the environs of Kirkuk

An intense artillery exchange fires the tension in the region that held a referendum of independence at the end of September

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Iraqi and Kurdish forces face in the environs of Kirkuk

The tensions between Kurdish troops (known as peshmerga) and forces of Baghdad have exploded this Friday on boundary between province of Erbil and that of Kirkuk. From 8.25 of morning an intense artillery duel has closed road that connects two cities in village of Sherawa.

"The hashed have attacked us," assures country Colonel Badiaá, a Kurdish security Services Officer (ASAISH), referring to popular mobilization units (eminently Shi'a militias). Impossible to verify his assertion. On or side of this internal border, security is in hands of Iraqi federal forces, which unite army, police and militias. Badiaá is convinced that objective of militia is not only to force Peshmerga to retreat to boundaries of 2003, but to reach Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, about 35 kilometers from checkpoint of Sherawa. "Iran is behind," adds Kurdish officer to consent of or military.

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  • Kurdistan fears an attack by Iraqi army on Kirkuk
  • Kirkuk, multi-ethnic and petroleum province that fears referendum

Little by little reinforcements arrive peshmerga and two units are deployed to east and to west of post of Sherawa. The Kurdish military seeks to block what y say is an attempt to surround m by militia. In midst of shooting of Katyushas and anor medium caliber artillery comes a military vehicle with a dead and first wounded. One of accompanying combatants says that "coalition planes [led by US and fighting ISIS] have bombarded hashed positions, y have abandoned ir positions and when we have advanced to occupy m y have returned and attacked us." The soldier is not sure if it was a intentional attack or by mistake. An officer denies later that planes have bombed. "If y had attacked hashed we wouldn't have had to withdraw," he declares without identifying himself because he is not officially authorized to speak to press.

Between cannon and cannon you will eventually hear noise of airplanes but it is not possible to spot m or see clearly if y are attacking. The front is located about a kilometer south of Sherawa.

The military campaign formally to "impose security" in norastern Iraq, has been a reprisal for referendum of independence that Iraqi Kurdistan government organized last month. On Wednesday, Iraqi army had announced end of its campaign to recover disputed territories under control of Kurdish troops and that se had been retracted to limits of autonomous Region. In an attempt to lower tension, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered withdrawal of those paramilitaries in Kirkuk city.


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