On October 16, the Iraqi Army backed by the Iraqi Federal Police launched an operation to capture Kirkuk city and other areas around it from Kurdish Peshmerga forces, according to Kurdish and Iraqi sources.
Iraqi sources reported the Iraqi Army and other government forces recaptured several areas inside Kirkuk city and several oil fields around it. The sources also claimed that K1 Airbase, Northern Oil Company and the Khaled military camp were captured by the Iraqi Army. However, these reports are yet to be confirmed by any official sources.
— Iraq Day (@iraq_day) October 15, 2017
The sources also said that the Peshmerga withdrew from all the areas without any resistance. Moreover, local sources said that the governor of Kirkuk city is asking local civilians to carry weapons and prevent the Iraqi Army from entering the city.
According to several reports of the Iraqi media, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) is not part of the ongoing operation in Kirkuk city. The decision not to let the PMU take part in such sensitive operation, is a very wise decision of the Iraqi Federal Government.
The Iraqi Army operation may continue until the Iraqi Federal Government restore its control over all Nineveh province areas that were captured by the Peshmerga after ISIS upraising in 2014. If the Peshmerga reacts to the Iraqi Army operation, Iraq might witness a resistance that will slow down the war on ISIS.
Pro-Kurdish sources are denying initial reports that the Peshmerga withdrew from K1 Airbase, Kirkuk Airport and Maktab Khalad.
Breaking. Peshmerge forces are in full control of Maktab Khald, K1 military base, Kirkuk airport . Kosrat Rasul the Vice President of Kurdistan arrived Kirkuk with heavily armed Peshmerge brigade.
— Hemin Hawrami (@heminhawrami) 15 October 2017
The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) released a statement saying that the Popular Mobilization Units are involved in the operation. The statement says that government forces are using battle tanks and other US-made equipment in the operation.
The KRSC also claimed that the Peshmerga destroyed 5 Humvees belonging to the PMU.
— KR Security Council (@KRSCPress) 16 October 2017