Iraq sets deadline for Kurds to quit Turkey border post

A member of the Iraqi forces carries an Iraqi flag as his comrades stand next to mortars aimed against Kurdish Peshmerga positions near the area of Faysh Khabur, located on the Turkish and Syrian borders in the Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region. (AFP)
Updated 27 October 2017
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Iraq sets deadline for Kurds to quit Turkey border post

BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces set a tight deadline Friday for Kurdish fighters to withdraw from an area on the Turkish border that is critical for oil exports, a government source told AFP.
The senior security source, asking not to be named, said Kurdish peshmerga fighters were being given “a few hours” to pull out of the area around the Fishkhabur border post.
Clashes between the two sides had ceased “with only occasional exchanges of fire,” said the source.
Iraqi forces on Thursday mounted a new assault on Kurdish fighters in the disputed oil-rich Zummar area of Nineveh province, triggering heavy artillery exchanges.
In an advance over dusty terrain with armored vehicles, government forces recaptured villages close to the route of a strategic oil export pipeline linking the Kirkuk fields retaken from the Kurds earlier this month with the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
The Kurds shut down the pipeline during the 2014 sweep through northern and western Iraq by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group and built their own pipeline further north.
The Fishkhabur region, at the extreme edge of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan and where the Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian borders converge, is of strategic importance to both Baghdad and the Kurds of northern Iraq.
The Kurds have been defending the Zummar and Rabiya areas of Fishkhabur because they are used by Kurdish forces battling IS in Syria to smuggle out fuel products by tanker trucks to Turkey, according to the Iraqi source.
The UN Security Council on Thursday urged Iraq’s government and Kurdish leaders to set a timetable for talks on ending their conflict triggered by a September 25 independence referendum held by the Kurds in defiance of Baghdad.


Gunmen open fire and enter Erbil govt building in Iraq’s Kurdish region

Updated 18 min 23 sec ago
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Gunmen open fire and enter Erbil govt building in Iraq’s Kurdish region

  • Security forces have cleared the streets around the building, which is located in the busy city centre, said the security officials
  • These types of attacks are rare in Erbil, one of the most stable cities in Iraq

ERBIL, Iraq: Gunmen entered the governorate building in Erbil, the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq on Monday and began firing from windows at Kurdish security forces, a deputy governor of the city and Kurdish security officials said.
Security forces have cleared the streets around the building, which is located in the busy city centre, said the security officials.
“At around 7:45 am two gunmen approached the entrance of the governorate and opened fire at the guards. They managed to enter and now they are on the third floor,” said the deputy governor, Tahir Abdullah.
“Security forces have surrounded the building and entered the ground floor, preparing to attack the assailants.”
The gunmen seized weapons from the guards. The men were shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest), said a spokesman for the KRG.
It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack.
These types of attacks are rare in Erbil, one of the most stable cities in Iraq.
Daesh, which has been largely defeated in Iraq, has carried out bombings in Erbil in the past. The group has targeted Kurdish forces and civilians in recent years.