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Kurdish Security Forces Not to Allow Iraqi Army to Enter Kirkuk - Governor

© AFP 2023 / MARWAN IBRAHIMIraqi security forces man a checkpoint in the northern city of Kirkuk (File)
Iraqi security forces man a checkpoint in the northern city of Kirkuk (File) - Sputnik International
Kirkuk security will prevent Iraqi Army to enter province, as its governor told Sputnik on Wednesday.

KIRKUK (Iraq) (Sputnik) – The security forces of the Iraqi province of Kirkuk will not allow the country’s army to enter, its governor told Sputnik on Wednesday.

“There is no need in the deployment of the armed forces, we will not allow the army to enter,” Najmiddin Karim said.

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Moreover, on Wednesday, the Iraqi parliament instructed  the government to return oil fields in regions disputed with the Kurds to Baghdad’s control. However, the oil extraction and transportation in Kirkuk will continue despite the tensions between Erbil and Baghdad, Kirkuk Governor added.

“The government needs to return northern fields in Kirkuk and disputed regions under surveillance and control of the federal oil ministry,” the parliament’s document, seen by Sputnik, reads.

"I believe that some companies [foreign oil companies] have a certain concerns, but I am fully convinced that these problems will be resolved, and oil production and transportation will continue, including under agreements between Rosneft and the Kurdistan Region, contracts with the other companies, including Gazpromneft," the governor said, adding that "the first reaction of Baghdad [on independence referendum] was expected."

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Earlier in the day, the Iraqi parliament ruled to give mandate to Prime Minister Haider Abadi to deploy the armed forces into the disputed region of Kirkuk.

"The supreme commander of the armed forces shall take all constitutional and legal measures to protect Iraq’s unity and protect its citizens, to issue an order to the security forces to return and settle in all disputed areas, including Kirkuk," the parliament’s document, seen by Sputnik, reads.

The referendum was held on Monday in Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan and disputed regions and, according to the preliminary results, the independence has been supported by over 90 percent of the voters.

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