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Iraqi troops says no military operations in Kirkuk, just re-deployment

2017/10/13 | 15:25

(Iraq Now News)-

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Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The Iraqi Interior Ministry has denied military operations in Kirkuk, indicating re-deployment of troops in the wake of eradication of Islamic State there.

In remarks on Friday, Minister Qassim al-Aaraji said, “no operations are ongoing in Kirkuk.

It’s just a re-deployment of troops after ending presence of IS there.”

“It’s a return back to how it was before June 2014,” he added.

The minister’s remarks came shortly after the Joint Operations Command has also denied news circulated in media over launch of military operations in south of Kirkuk.

“Our troops are still combing the liberated regions,” the command said in a statement, warning that “legal measures will be taken against whoever attempts stirs controversy among the public.”

Earlier on the day, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi reportedly ordered to halt security advancement into Kirkuk for 48 hours after Peshmerga lowered their flags and emptied their barracks in Taza and Bashir villages.

Moreover, Peshmerga denied evacuating positions in Kirkuk and withdrawing in the face of advancing Iraqi troops, saying they were only rearranging their deployment.

Abadi denied Thursday warnings by Kurdistan officials that his government was preparing for a military operation to invade Kirkuk.

The Kurdistan Region’s Security Council announced on Wednesday receiving threats that Iraqi joint troops are preparing for a major attack on Kurdistan from southwest Kirkuk and north of Mosul, which was dismissed by Peshmerga later.

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