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Only Federal Police on Ground in Kirkuk: Iraqi Official
By Ali Mukarrem Garip

Iraqi Federal Police are the only armed personnel currently providing security in Kirkuk, while no other armed groups have been deployed in the city, a local police officer said Thursday.

"No armed forces are currently securing Kirkuk except for Federal Police units and police anti-terrorism forces," Kirkuk Police Chief Khattan Omar said at a press conference.

He denied reports on social media that certain political groups and other movements had recently deployed armed personnel in the city.

"Such reports are groundless," Omar asserted. "There are no security forces now in Kirkuk besides police and counter-terrorism forces."

Last month, Iraqi forces seized control of Kirkuk's oilfields from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters who had overrun the disputed province in 2014.

The move came amid mounting tension between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) following the latter's illegitimate Sept. 25 referendum on Kurdish regional independence.

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