Peshmerga pull out from area near Mosul, Iran border

Published 17.10.2017 12:39
Updated 17.10.2017 14:15
Children cheer as Iraqi military forces advance into Kirkuk, northern Iraq, Oct. 16, 2017. (EPA Photo)
Children cheer as Iraqi military forces advance into Kirkuk, northern Iraq, Oct. 16, 2017. (EPA Photo)

Kurdish peshmerga forces began to withdraw from Makhmur district, southeast of Mosul in northern Iraq, a Kurdish officer said Tuesday.

"Kurdish forces are moving their heavy equipment toward Erbil," Capt. Taher Saadullah al-Duski told Anadolu Agency (AA).

He said Iraqi government forces had not yet entered the district.

Saadullah, however, did not give a reason for the Kurdish pullout from the area.

Kurdish officer Sirwan Khalil, for his part, said Peshmerga forces had pulled out from the village of Kanhash in the historic city Nimrud, southeast of Mosul."

Peshmerga also pulled out from the area of Khanaqin, on the border with Iran as Iraqi forces prepared to take over their positions, security sources said.

The region is home to a large Kurdish community and the site of a small oil field, Khana.

Meanwhile, pro-government forces seized control of the Parvez Khan border crossing between Iraq and Iran, according to an Iraqi security official.

"Hashd al-Shaabi fighters, stationed on the Iranian side, have crossed the border and seized control of the crossing," the official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.

NRT TV, which broadcasts from the northern city of Sulaymaniya, also quoted officials at the crossing confirming the news.

Iran has three main crossings with northern Iraq's Kurdish region: Haji Omaran (in the Irbil province), Parvez Khan, and Bashmaq.

On Monday, Iraqi forces captured the oil-rich Kirkuk city, three weeks after the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) held a referendum on the secession of northern Iraq's Kurdish region.

Responding to a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) referendum on independence held last month, Iraqi government forces on Monday captured the Kurdish-held oil city of Kirkuk, transforming the country's balance of power.

Kurdish forces seized control of disputed areas in the provinces of Kirkuk, Nineveh, Diyala and Saladin when the Daesh terrorist group swept through northern Iraq in 2014 and the army collapsed.

On Monday, Iraqi forces seized full control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk amid tension between Baghdad and Irbil over last month's illegitimate referendum on Kurdish independence.

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