MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Baghdad is fulfilling its constitutional duty and security in the disputed city of Kirkuk, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said on October 16.
"We assure our people in Kurdistan and Kirkuk that we are protecting their security and interests, and have only fulfilled the constitutional duty of expanding federal authority, establishing security and protecting national wealth in the city," Abadi said, as quoted in a statement by his office.
Earlier in the day, Abadi ordered an operation to restore security in the disputed city.
The prime minister added that Baghdad wanted the city to remain "a city of peaceful coexistence for all Iraqis."
The deployment of Iraqi troops to the region was approved by the country's government after the Kurdish independence referendum on September 25, which was declared illegal by Baghdad. Kirkuk held the vote too, despite not being a part of Iraqi Kurdistan.
In 2014, Peshmerga liberated the oil-rich province of Kirkuk from the terrorists of Daesh (banned in Russia). Since then, the region has been controlled by Kurdish authorities.