WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US State Department called on the authorities of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan to avoid provocations in the situation around the Kirkuk province and coordinate military activities.
"The United States is very concerned by reports of violence around Kirkuk, Iraq. We are monitoring the situation closely and call on all parties to coordinate military activities and restore calm…. We strongly urge all parties to avoid provocations that can be exploited by Iraq’s enemies who are interested in fueling ethnic and sectarian conflict," the State Department said.
The United States was also working with officials from the central and regional governments to reduce tensions, avoid further clashes, and encourage dialogue, its stressed.
Iraqi Kurdistan's vice president said Friday that Erbil would send 6,000 Peshmerga troops to Kirkuk to counter Baghdad's plan to retake control of the area. Local media reported earlier on Monday that 3,000 Kurdish Peshmerga had been additionally deployed to Kirkuk.