Amid the fighting in Kirkuk, Kurdish Foreign Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir claimed during an interview with CNN that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) never wanted a war with Iraq.







Kurdish fighters

Kurdish fighters Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

In an interview with CNN, Kurdish Foreign Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir stated on Wednesday evening that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) never wanted a war with Iraq. Earlier this week, the Iraqi Army launched an attack on the Kurdish-held region of Kirkuk.

Most Kurds in northern Iraq voted in favor of independence during a referendum in September. However, Baghdad has refused to recognize the results of the vote. Over the weekend, the Kurds stated that they fear that an Iraqi attack on Kirkuk is imminent and thus positioned about 6,000 Peshmerga fighters throughout the city. In response, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that he is opposed to the use of military force against the Kurds.

Nevertheless, the Iraqi Army launched a large-scale operation to retake the region. The Kurdish forces eventually confirmed the reports about the attack after initially denying them. Al-Abadi stated that “order and security need to be imposed in the Kirkuk region in cooperation with the city’s population and the Peshmerga.”

“We oppose violence from any party and urge against destabilizing actions that distract from the fight against ISIS and further undermine Iraq’s stability,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Seal after the news of the attack made headlines. The U.S. provides weapons to both the Iraqi Army and Kurdish forces so that they can fight ISIS.