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Kurdish forces on war footing after firefight with Iraq forces

Special to WorldTribune.com

BAGHDAD — The autonomous region of Kurdistan has been placed on high
alert in wake of a clash with Iraqi forces.

KRG President Massoud Barzani. /AFP

The Kurdish Regional Government said it was preparing for attacks by
Baghdad’s military on the autonomous northern region. KRG cited a battle between Iraqi central government forces and Kurdish troops on Nov. 16 in Tuz Khurmato, in which a man was killed.

“The Kurdish region is fully prepared to confront any undesirable
occurrence, with the goal of defending our territory and our citizens,” KRG President Massoud Barzani said.

In a statement on Nov. 17, Barzani said he ordered KRG forces to “take
all necessary measures.” He did not elaborate.

The clash was the latest in escalating tension between Baghdad and KRG. Iraqi officials have accused KRG of arranging secret deals to equip a military, a violation of the agreement that established the autonomous zone.

The greatest friction between Baghdad and KRG has focused on the Kirkuk
area, claimed by the Kurds. The Iraqi military has established the Tigris
Operations Command, led by Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Al Zaidi and responsible for
the provinces of Diyala, Kirkuk and Salah Eddin.

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