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Iraqi forces take control of Kurdish-held areas in Mosul’s Niveveh’s province

Iraqi soldiers gesture on top of a vehicle as they enter the city of Kirkuk on October 17, 2017. Kurdish peshmerga forces withdrew without a fight after federal government troops and militia entered the city and seized the provincial governor’s office and key military bases. (AFP)
BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces have taken control of areas previously held by Kurdish forces in Mosul’s Nineveh province in northern Iraq, a military statement said on Wednesday.
The areas were evacuated by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters before the arrival of the Iraqi forces on Tuesday, the statement said. The Peshmerga had taken them over the past three years as part of the war against Daesh militants.
The Mosul Dam, northwest of the city, is among the positions retaken from the Peshmerga, the military statement said.
Responding to a Kurdish referendum on independence held last month, Iraqi government forces backed by Iranian-trained paramilitary groups captured the Kurdish-held oil region of Kirkuk on Monday, transforming the country’s balance of power.
Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi ordered the retaking of Kirkuk on Monday, as well as all disputed areas claimed by both the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government and the central authorities in Baghdad.

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