VIDEO + PHOTOS: Kurdish Peshmerga forces capitulating in Kirkuk as Iraqi forces roll in

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October 16, 2017 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos

In the early hours of the local time in Iraq the Golden Division of the Iraqi Army began rolling into Kirkuk being welcomed by local people with food and tea.

“What is happening right now is return to Federal control, not war. All war news lies,” an Iraqi military spokesperson told al-Sura News.

Despite the assurances of no plans for confrontation from the Iraqi military, The ex-governor of Kirkuk demanded civilians to fire on the Iraqi Army entering the city before fleeing his residence. 

Oil-rich Kirkuk has become a disputed region between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Federal Government of Iraq. Kurdish authorities currently control the city despite it being a part of the Federal Government’s administration according to the Constitution. 

The Peshmerga forces, the Kurdish militia, part of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) political party faction began rapidly abandoning their positions to the Iraqi Army with Kurdish local hurling abuse because of their actions. 

A local Peshmerga source, aligned to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) faction stated that the PUK Peshmerga “took the howitzer and ammunition truck and tried to leave the city, we will punish them for their treachery.”

As part of their drive to control key positions in Kirkuk, the Iraqi Special Forces took full control of the K1 Military Base next to the provincial capital after the Peshmerga fled their positions, allowing Iraqi helicopters to land there.

In addition, Iraqi forces also took control of the Baba Gurgur Oil Fields after Peshmerga forces abandoned their positions, in addition to the Lilan District of Kirkuk and the North Oil Company.

As a result, hundreds of Peshmerga have been filmed fleeing Kirkuk and heading towards Sulaymania.

Despite the calls for war by many important Kurdish figures, Iraqi forces have begun treating Peshmerga militants who have been injured in their chaotic withdrawal from the city.

With the governor of Kirkuk calling for war, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has appointed Rakan al-Jbourri as his replacement. 

Events continue to rapidly unfold in Kirkuk.

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