US military rushes to defuse looming crisis in Kirkuk after Iraqi army advances

US military commanders are scrambling to stop a conflict escalating between two forces they arm and train, after the Iraqi army seized the contested, oil-rich city of Kirkuk, from Kurdish peshmerga.

The Pentagon sought to play down the scale of clashes between the two sides, after forces loyal to the central government in Baghdad rapidly took over nearly all the city on Monday, and Kurdish forces abandoned their positions, retreating to nearby oilfields. Video footage showed streams of Kurdish refugees leaving Kirkuk in cars.

More… Iraqi forces drive Kurdish fighters out of town of Sinjar

Kurdish fighters have lost more territory in Iraq, a day after Iraqi forces pushed them out of the disputed oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

The commander of local Yazidi fighters, Masloum Shingali, said Kurdish forces had left the town of Sinjar before dawn on Tuesday, allowing Shia-led militia fighting with Iraqi forces to move into the town.

Also… The Battles After ISIS

Reports emerged Monday that ISIS had been defeated in Raqqa, the Syrian city it claims as its capital, signaling a major victory in the years-long battle against the militant group and the near end to its self-declared caliphate. But already there are signs the post-ISIS battles are only beginning: In neighboring Iraq, government forces have recaptured Kirkuk, an oil-richprovince that has been under Kurdish control since 2014, after beginning to move on the disputed region over the weekend.

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  • canminuteman

    You would have needed a crystal ball to see that coming!! /sarc.

    • Yup, Iran is running away with it now.

    • Watchman

      Well, to be fair. The Kurds were under threat of genocide from ISIS, but now they are just under threat of living as third class citizens with a little bit of genocide.

      • canminuteman

        I am sure that there are various factions who will be battling over who gets to control the ruins, and all factions will be trying to get the Kurds. The Kurds are also muslims, the only reason they are our allies is because their enemies are our enemies. If it wan’t for that I’m sure they would be trying to kill us too.

  • DaninVan

    You know I hate it, but I understand that Baghdad isn’t going to allow Iraq to be broken up like Yugoslavia was. Unfortunately, this is IRAN running the operation; precious little to do with what Iraqis want.
    Seems like everything the US Military touches turns to excrement eventually…at the cost of a LOT of young US Servicemen and women.

    • Watchman

      It comes from decades of the State Department completely failing to understand islam and consequently believing there is a path to peace in the Middle East that doesn’t involve massive genocide.