The United States is engaging with Iraqi and Kurdish authorities to resolve the conflict situation in Kirkuk, a State Department official told The Globe Post on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered an operation to retake federal sites in Kirkuk, which is largely under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The relations between Baghdad and Erbil became increasingly tense after the Kurdish independence referendum on September 25.
The PM orders ISF to cooperate with Peshmerga and avoid confrontations, and to protect all civilians in the province
— Government of Iraq (@IraqiGovt) October 15, 2017
“We are monitoring the situation in Kirkuk closely and are very concerned by reports of a confrontation. We are engaged with all parties in Iraq to de-escalate tension,” the official said, noting that Washington supports “the peaceful exercise of joint GOI [Government of Iraq] – KRG authority in all disputed areas.”