The Pentagon said that the United States continues to support a “united Iraq,” saying that both sides should focus on fighting the organization of the Islamic state (Da’ash) and avoid creating unnecessary tensions among the Iraqi people: “We oppose any violence on either side, Iraq, “said Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Seale.
On Sunday, the Iraqi National Security Council accused the Kurds of transferring forces linked to the PKK, calling it “a declaration of war.”
The tensions in the region have increased recently since the Kurdish district decided to hold a referendum on independence from Iraq. The referendum, in which the supporters of independence won, does not oblige the Iraqi government, and it has condemned and threatened it. Following the referendum, Iraq imposed a blanket ban on flying over the Kirkuk district.
The Pashmerga have been in control of Kirkuk since mid-2014, when the Iraqi army retreated from the region due to the war with Islamic state fighters.