The United States is concerned by reports of clashes around the town of Altun Kupri near Kirkuk and is urging Iraqi federal government to move its forces in the area only in coordination with Kurdish authorities, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement on Friday.
“In order to avoid any misunderstandings or further clashes, we urge the central government to calm the situation by limiting federal forces’ movements in disputed areas to only those coordinated with the Kurdistan Regional Government,” Ms. Nauert said.
“The reassertion of federal authority over disputed areas in no way changes their status – they remain disputed until their status is resolved in accordance with the Iraqi constitution,” she added.
KRG statement on the latest statement from @StateDept : We welcome the content of the statement and any attempts for stopping the fighting. KRG express its readiness to start dialogue without any ore condition within the frame of Iraqi constitution with Baghdad.
— Hemin Hawrami (@heminhawrami) October 20, 2017
On Monday, Iraqi forces asserted control over disputed areas in and near Kirkuk, but the standoff with Kurdish Peshmerga resulted in several clashes.
Erbil and Baghdad have accused each other of using foreign-supplied weapons during the confrontation. The Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army have both been trained by the U.S. and other Coalition partners.
— IRAQI NATIONAL ARMY (@Defense_Iraq) October 20, 2017
Peshmerga forces are under attack in Alton Kopri, North of Kirkuk, by Iraqi forces, including Iranian-backed PMF, using American weapons.
— KR Security Council (@KRSCPress) October 20, 2017