Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Kirkuk crisis: US sues for calm as crisis escalates

United States sues for "calm" following Iraqi government army seizure of the northern city of Kirkuk as well as key installations from the Kurdish control, BBC report.

Heather Nauert, State Department spokeswoman advised both side to remain calm to "avoid further clashes".

Iraqi army entered into Kirkuk 3-weeks after the Kurdistan Region held an independence referendum.

The army are trying to retake areas under Kurdish control since IS militants swept through the region.

The people of Kurdish-controlled areas, including Kirkuk, largely backed secession from Iraq in a vote on 25 September, 2017.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi had declared the vote as unconstitutional while the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) insisted it was legitimate.

According to a statement from US State Department on Monday, Heather Nauert was reported as saying that Washington was "very concerned by reports of violence around Kirkuk".

"We support the peaceful exercise of joint administration by the central and regional governments, consistent with the Iraqi constitution, in all disputed areas."

Ms Nauert said the US was working with officials from all parties to "encourage dialogue", warning that "there is still much work to be done to defeat ISIS (Islamic State) in Iraq". She said.

Photo credit: Reuters

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