Tensions between Baghdad and Kirkuk have further escalated following the Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence referendum with Iraqi troops conducting an operation in the region.
The Iraqi military forces have reported the capture of the Kirkuk airport from the Kurdish army in the oil-rich region, which aims to gain independence like Iraqi Kurdistan.
A source in the security forces told Sputnik that the clashes between Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga continue in the al Tuz Khurmato area, as well as between the Hasd Al-Shaabi and the Peshmerga in the Makhmur area between Al-Huwayja and Mosul.
The Iraqi army has taken control of the Laylan town south of Kirkuk.
“The joint forces have secured the Laylan suburb, the Baba Gurgur oil field, and the North Oil Company,” the army statement read.
Earlier in the day, the Iraqi troops gained control over the K-1 military base, two oil fields, as well as over Kirkuk’s irrigation system.
On Sunday, Hemin Hawrami, a senior assistant to Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, said the Peshmerga had destroyed four Humvees that were trying to enter the province of Kirkuk from the south.
Later in that day, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi ordered the country’s army and police to secure bases and federal installations in Kirkuk, but avoid confrontations with the Kurdish forces.