10/20/2017, 9:44 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Iraq gains full control of Kirkuk from Kurds

Iraqi army forces captured the last Kurd-held part of the Kirkuk province on Friday, AFP reported citing security sources.

Earlier this week, Iraq launched an operation to retake the province and seized several towns from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters who have controlled the area since 2014. The Iraqi offensive came as a response to the Kurdish referendum held in September, in which over 90% of the voters backed independence from Baghdad.

The government in Baghdad insisted they want to avoid an "armed confrontation" with Kurds, while Kurdish authorities warned that Iraq is planning "major attacks" on the region and decided to deploy over 6,000 troops to the oil-rich and ethnically diverse disputed area of Kirkuk.

Breaking the News / NP