On Saturday, the Iraqi Army and security forces started advancing from Ain Zahal town west of Duhok city towards the Iraqi-Turkish border, according to local sources.
The Iraqi government forces will reportedly set a new border crossing with Turkey when they reach the border.
— Iraq Day (@iraq_day) October 21, 2017
The Iraqi Army also sarted an advance towards Chamchamal town south of Sulaymaniyah city. According to Iraqi sources, the army advance is coordinated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led by Pavel Talabani.
No new clashes between government forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga force were reported on Saturday. However, Kurdish activists published a photo of alleged M1 Abrams tank of the Iraqi Army that was supposedly destroyed by the Peshmerga during the clashes in Altun Kupri town near Erbil city on Friday.
Meanwhile, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani said in an official statement that Kurdistan is “facing threats, blockades and collective punishment” for exercising their peaceful right to hold a referendum.
Brazani has called on the international community and Kurds in the diaspora to help Kurdistan, and stage peaceful protests and civil activities.
“Governments have, due to their interests, forgotten about the sacrifices made by the people of Kurdistan and the Peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS terrorists … therefore call on you to prevent this war-mongering, murder, violations and the fleeing of people, committed by the Iraqi government through its militia forces and in cooperation with foreign assistance and guidance against Kurdistan.” Brazani said in the statement.
Kurdish sources reported that hundreds of Iraqi Kurds protested on Friday and Saturday in front of the US Consulate General, and the United Nation office in Erbil city. The protestors demanded from the international community to support the Kurdistan Region Government against the Iraqi Federal Government.
Such protests will likely have no effect what so ever on the Iraqi-Kurdish crisis. However, the protests might support the weak position of Brazani and help him to remain the president of the region.