Iraq PM orders halt in operations against Kurds for 24 hours

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Friday announced “a halt to movements by the armed forces for 24 hours” in zones disputed by Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region.

Abadi, who also heads the armed forces, said the pause aimed to “give the opportunity to a joint technical committee of the federal authorities and those of Kurdistan to work on deploying federal forces in all of the disputed zones” in northern Iraq.

Eariler, Coalition spokesperson said he incorrectly announced ceasefire has been reached between Iraq and Kurds after the coalition’s media office reported that the Iraqi army has reached an agreement with the Peshmerga fighters to stop fighting.

Heavy gun battles raged on Thursday between Kurdish and Iraqi troops moving towards a border crossing with Turkey on the route of a major oil pipeline in northern Iraq.

The Kurdish and Peshmerga fighters fired mortar shells and used anti-tank guided missiles, which were very resistant to the advance of the Popular Mobilization militia.

On Thursday morning, Iraqi armored vehicles launched from the oil-rich area of Zamar, northwest of Mosul. Iraqi forces returned some villages, passing dirt tracks along the paved road to the Nineveh Plain. Violent clashes also took place in other villages.

The Kurdish authorities announced at dawn on Thursday that Iraqi forces and the Popular Army militia bombed “the Peshmerga positions at 6:00 am (3:00 GMT) from the Zammar Front northwest of Mosul using heavy artillery.”

(with AFP)

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