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Iraqi forces, Kurdish Peshmerga Agree on Ceasefire: US-Led Coalition

Iraqi forces, Kurdish Peshmerga Agree on Ceasefire: US-Led Coalition

Friday, 27 October, 2017 - 14:15
Members of Iraqi federal forces gather in Dibis area, on the outskirts of Kirkuk, Iraq October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters reached an agreement on Friday to halt fighting in northern Iraq, the media office of the US-led coalition against ISIS said.

The ceasefire agreement covered all fronts, Reuters quoted a spokesman for the coalition in Baghdad as saying.

Iraqi government forces launched a surprise offensive on Oct. 16 controlled the oil-rich province of Kirkuk in retaliation to a Sept. 25 referendum on independence organized by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq.

The offensive aims to seize so-called disputed territories, claimed by both the KRG and the Iraqi central government, as well as border crossings and key oil facilities.

The oil-rich city of Kirkuk fell to Iraqi forces without much resistance on Oct. 16 but the Peshmerga began to fight back forcefully as they withdrew closer to the core KRG territory.

The most violent clashes happened in the northwestern corner where Peshmerga are defending land crossings to Turkey and Syria and an oil hub that controls KRG crude exports.

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