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Peshmerga retreat amid international efforts to defuse tensions

Published: Updated:

Colonel Ahmad al-Jubouri, commander of the Iraqi army’s Nineveh Operations Command, said Peshmerga forces withdrew from the center of the Makhmur district, south of Erbil, after receiving orders to do so few hours after they seized control of wide parts of it, the Anadolu Agency reported.

Meanwhile, following deadly clashes between Iraqi forces and Peshmerga forces, the international community seems worried as there are efforts on several levels to defuse the crisis between Baghdad and Erbil.

In a phone call with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for dialogue and confirmed his country’s support to enforcing law in disputed areas according to the Iraqi constitution.

The UN Security Council called on the Iraqi government and Kurdish leaders not to resort to power and for ending escalation. It also called on both parties to go back to dialogue based on a timeframe to end the crisis which resulted from the independence referendum which Kurdistan held.

Turkey said the Kurdistan Region’s move of freezing the referendum’s results was not enough and will not fix what has been ruined.

International efforts to ease tensions between Baghdad and Erbil are being met with opposing efforts that aim to maintain these tensions for financial gains.

Sources in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said Peshmerga forces affiliated with the sons of Masoud Barzani are fiercely fighting to stay in control of the Syrian Rmelan and Karatchok oil fields and the town of Mahmoudiyah which oil is smuggled through in agreement with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the PJAK forces affiliated with the Iranian Kurdistan Freedom Party.