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    Members of Iraqi federal forces gather to continue to advance in military vehicles in Kirkuk, Iraq October 16, 2017.

    State Dept. Urges Baghdad to Limit Movements in Disputed Areas in Kurdistan

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    The Department of State has issued a statement urging Iraq to restrict its military forces' movement in northern Iraq.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States calls on Baghdad to restrict the movement of government troops in northern Iraq to prevent further clashes with Kurdish forces in the area, the State Department said in a press release.

    "[W]e urge the central government to calm the situation by limiting federal forces’ movements in disputed areas to only those coordinated with the Kurdistan Regional Government," the release said.

    Earlier, Kurdish Peshmerga reported that Iraqi forces were continuing their advance in two areas disputed between Baghdad and Kurdistan — in Diyala province and nearby the Mosul Dam.

    Also, the department said that the Iraqi government's effort to reassert its authority over Kurdish areas in northern Iraq does not change the disputed status of these territories.

    "The reassertion of federal authority over disputed areas in no way changes their status – they remain disputed until their status is resolved in accordance with the Iraqi constitution," the State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

     

    "The United States is concerned by reports of violent clashes around the town of Altun Kupri in northern Iraq. We are monitoring the situation closely, and call on all parties to cease all violence and provocative movements, and to coordinate their activities to restore calm," Nauert said.

    Earlier in the week, Iraqi forces conducted an offensive on the disputed oil-rich region of Kirkuk. Media reported on Monday, that the Baghdad forces had gained control of the city.

    Related:

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    Baghdad's Advance on Kirkuk Has 'Broken the Kurds' Back'
    Kurdistan's Peshmerga Hopes to Receive Foreign Help to Resolve Crisis
    Peshmerga: Iraqi Military Advancing in Two Areas Disputed With Kurds
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