Iraqi Army Asserts Control of Major Kurdish Held Border Crossing with Turkey

01 November, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Baghdad urges Peshmerga to withdraw to pre-2003 borders

Turkish and Iraqi troops, some holding their national flags, participate in a ceremony at the Habur/Ibrahim Khalil border crossing with Iraq, near Silopi, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. Iraqi Kurds expanded their territory in 2014 after the federal military collapsed following confrontations with ISIS. Suggesting that Barzani's departure may yield greater Kurdish unity and improve the odds of a resolution with Baghdad, a USA official said: "We can't allow this tension to continue".

However, Kurdish regional authorities denied the crossing had been handed over.

Control of the border region is of crucial importance for the landlocked Kurdish region.

However, in a move to help defuse tensions with the Kurds, he said on Tuesday Baghdad would start paying "soon" the salaries of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and civil servants working for the KRG. They seized control of the Kirkuk, Baba Gurgur and Avana oilfields.

More news: The Nintendo Switch will surpass Wii U sales in double quick time

Iraqi forces took control of strategic locations in the Kurdish region, including an air base and the oil-rich area around the city of Kirkuk.

Long lines on both sides formed because the crossing was closed during the handover ceremony, it added.

The statement appeared to reflect a USA belief that the departure of Barzani, whose September 25 independence referendum is widely seen has having backfired, may make it easier for the two main Kurdish factions to work together and to negotiate with the federal government led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

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