Thousands of Kurdish troops sent to Kirkuk to face ‘Iraqi threat’

Kurdish authorities have sent thousands more troops to the oil region of Kirkuk to confront “threats” from Iraq’s central government, the vice president of the autonomous Kurdistan region said on Friday.

Tens of thousands of Kurdish soldiers were already stationed there and another 6,000 have arrived since Thursday, Kosrat Rasul said, amid mounting tensions between the northern territory and Baghdad.

Iraq’s government has taken a series of measures to isolate the region since Kurds held a Sept 25 referendum on independence, including banning international flights from going there and calling for a halt to its crude oil sales.