US Urges Calm as Kirkuk Crisis Escalates
Albanian Daily News
Published October 17, 2017
The Iraqi military said it had taken control of oil facilities after Peshmerga withdrewThe US has called for "calm" after Iraqi government forces seized the northern city of Kirkuk and key installations from Kurdish control.
State department spokeswoman Heather Nauert urged all parties to "avoid further clashes".
Iraqi soldiers moved into Kirkuk three weeks after the Kurdistan Region held a controversial independence referendum.
They are aiming to retake areas under Kurdish control since Islamic State militants swept through the region.
Residents of Kurdish-controlled areas, including Kirkuk, overwhelmingly backed secession from Iraq in a vote on 25 September.
While Kirkuk is outside Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish voters in the city were allowed to take part.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had denounced the vote as unconstitutional. But the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) insisted it was legitimate.