Earlier, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said he would never use military force against Iraqi Kurdistan; The goal is, he said, to free the country from the refugee extremists in the north of the country.
The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) deployed thousands of fighters around the disputed oil city of Kirkuk on Friday for fear of an attack by Iraqi government troops and militia, a senior official said.
Iraq's government has taken a series of measures to isolate the region since Kurds held a Sept 25 referendum on independence, including banning global flights from going there and calling for a halt to its crude oil sales. Baghdad has ruled out talks unless the KRG renounces the referendum results.
But Baghdad considered the vote illegal, especially as it was held not only in territory that forms part of the Kurdish autonomous region, but also in disputed neighbouring parts of Iraq occupied by Kurdish troops.
However, The Iraqi military command, in a statement, denied the Iraqi army was launching an operation to retake the city.
Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council issued arrest warrants on Wednesday for the chairman of the Kurdish referendum commission and two aides for "violating a valid court ruling" banning the independence vote as against the Constitution.Читайте также: Man City boss Pep Guardiola named Premier League Manager of Month
Iraq has maintained its tough line towards the Kurds with support of neighbours Turkey and Iran, which strongly oppose the secessionist movement.
Kirkuk lies just outside the KRG autonomous territory but Peshmerga forces moved in when the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of an Islamic State onslaught in 2014, preventing the region's oil fields from falling under jihadist control.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is expected to visit Baghdad on Sunday to meet with Abadi.
Peshmerga forces loyal to the KRG now dominate areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil (including Kirkuk), which they overran following Daesh's invasion of the country in mid-2014.
They accused the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) - paramilitary units dominated by Iran-trained Shiite militia - of massing fighters in two mainly Shiite Turkmen areas south of Kirkuk in a bid to provoke a confrontation. It is a precautionary measure after an increase in the deployment of Iraqi forces in the area, Irna says.При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
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