On October 13, Peshmerga spokesman Brigadier General Jabari Yawar told the Russian news agency Sputnik Arabia that the Iraqi Army didn’t ask Peshmerga to withdrew from Kirkuk city within 48 hours.
Yawar’s statement came before the clashes in Tuz Khurmatu town south of Kirkuk city between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU). However, this incident will likely change nothing on the ground, epically that it was very limited and ended within hours.
In a related development, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on October 13 that the US is working to reduce tensions between Iraqi government forces and the Peshmerga force.
“We are trying to tone everything down and to figure out how we go forward without losing sight of the enemy, and at the same time recognizing that we have got to find a way to move forward … Everybody stay focused on defeating ISIS. We can’t turn on each other right now. We don’t want to go to a shooting situation,” Mattis Said.
Meanwhile, Kurdish sources reported that the Peshmerga deployed 6,000 fighters in Kirkuk city on October 14. Iraqi sources also reported that the government forces deployed more units south of the city on the same day.
— Iraq Day (@iraq_day) 14 October 2017
Although the tension is raising between the Peshmerga and government forces, it’s unlikely that the two sides will launch a large-scale military campaign each against other before ISIS is fully defeated in Iraq. On the other hand, US efforts will likely have limited effect at all on the both sides. They both know the US will not step into the fight if it begins.