Iraq tensions rise after Kurds warn of attack_Top News_Asia Pacific Daily

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Iraq tensions rise after Kurds warn of attack

Top News2017-10-13

Tensions escalated between Iraq's Kurds and Baghdad on Thursday as warnings of a "major attack" by government forces prompted Kurdish peshmerga fighters to temporarily block roads from other parts of the country.The move came just over two weeks after Kurdish voters overwhelmingly backed independence in a non-binding referendum the central government slammed as illegal.Iraqi Kurdish forces closed the two main roads connecting Arbil and Dohuk with Mosul for several hours, a Kurdish military official said."The closure was prompted by fears of a possible attack by Iraqi forces on the disputed areas," held by Kurdish forces but outside the autonomous Kurdish region, the official said.Kurdish authorities said late Wednesday they feared Iraqi government forces and allied paramilitary units were gearing up to launch an assault on the autonomous northern region."We're receiving dangerous messages that the Hashed al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces) and federal police are preparing a major attack from the southwest of Kirkuk and north of Mosul against Kurdistan," the Kurdistan Regional Government's Security Council said.Security sources said Thursday that Iraq's elite Counter Terrorism Service and Rapid Response Force had deployed more forces near peshmerga positions around Rashad, a village some 65 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk city.The oil-rich province of the same name, areas of which took part in the referendum, is disputed between the Kurds and Baghdad.(AFP)

Tensions escalated between Iraq's Kurds and Baghdad on Thursday as warnings of a "major attack" by government forces prompted Kurdish peshmerga fighters to temporarily block roads from other parts of the country.

The move came just over two weeks after Kurdish voters overwhelmingly backed independence in a non-binding referendum the central government slammed as illegal.

Iraqi Kurdish forces closed the two main roads connecting Arbil and Dohuk with Mosul for several hours, a Kurdish military official said.

"The closure was prompted by fears of a possible attack by Iraqi forces on the disputed areas," held by Kurdish forces but outside the autonomous Kurdish region, the official said.

Kurdish authorities said late Wednesday they feared Iraqi government forces and allied paramilitary units were gearing up to launch an assault on the autonomous northern region.

"We're receiving dangerous messages that the Hashed al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces) and federal police are preparing a major attack from the southwest of Kirkuk and north of Mosul against Kurdistan," the Kurdistan Regional Government's Security Council said.

Security sources said Thursday that Iraq's elite Counter Terrorism Service and Rapid Response Force had deployed more forces near peshmerga positions around Rashad, a village some 65 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk city.

The oil-rich province of the same name, areas of which took part in the referendum, is disputed between the Kurds and Baghdad.


(AFP)


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