16:48 GMT +323 September 2018
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    Members of Iraqi federal forces are seen near the oil fields in Kirkuk, Iraq October 16, 2017

    Russian Foreign Ministry Warns of Possible Surge of Violence in Kirkuk, Iraq

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    The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on the development of the situation in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, where government forces have driven out Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow has said that it does not rule out further military clashes in northern Iraq.

    "The aggravation of the military-political situation in the north [of Iraq] on 16.10 as the authorities regained control of the city of Kirkuk. It is possible that the fighting will continue," the Situation and Crisis Center of the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

    At the same time, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has reiterated that Russia had military-technical cooperation only with Baghdad, emphasizing that Moscow considers the Kurdistan region a part of Iraq.

    On October 16, Iraqi security forces regained control over the city of Kirkuk, which had been under the direct administration of the Kurdish autonomy administration for the past three years. A curfew has been introduced in the city.

    Baghdad had gained control over all oil fields in Kirkuk earlier in the day.

    The conflict between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan worsened in Kirkuk following the referendum on independence, which was held by the Kurds without the consent of the Iraqi authorities on September 25.

    Related:

    Kirkuk Crisis and the Iraqi Government's Absolute Right to Restore Its Writ
    Up to 100,000 Kurds Could Have Left Kirkuk Before Iraqi Army Took City
    Iraqi Government Accuses Kurds of 'Misinformation Campaign' After Kirkuk Clashes
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    Russian Foreign Ministry, Iraq, Kirkuk
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