By Ibrahim Salih and Ahmed Qassim
NINEVEH, Iraq (AA) – The Iraqi army on Monday denied reports about a Kurdish Peshmerga advance on the oil-rich Kirkuk province.
In a statement, the Joint Operations Command described reports about mobilization of the Peshmerga forces near Kirkuk as “fabricated”.
“There is no change in the position of the Peshmerga and the federal forces,” the Command said, describing the reports as aiming to “mislead the public opinion”.
Army Lt. Colonel Ali al-Mansuri also denied reports about Peshmerga troop mobilization near Mosul, the capital of the northern Nineveh province.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, al-Mansuri said reports coming from the Joint Operations Command show that the situation was stable in the districts of Makhmur, Tel Keif and Sinjar.
“Federal troops are ready to counter any threat to the security and safety of the citizens,” he said.
Iraqi government forces seized control of several areas “disputed” between Baghdad and the Erbil-based Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), including Kirkuk, following a September 25 referendum on Kurdish regional independence.
The central government has also imposed a raft of sanctions on the Kurdish region, including a ban on international flights.