Media outlets in Iraq reported that the Kurds have deployed about 6,000 soldiers in Kirkuk for fear of an Iraqi government attack.

Photo credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

About 6,000 Kurdish soldiers were deployed in the disputed oil region of Kirkuk in central Iraq, for fear of an attack by the Iraqi government, local media reported Friday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he has no plans to use military force against the Kurds, though according to an unconfirmed AFP report, an Iraqi army official has said forces have already begun attacking the Kurdish forces in an attempt to retake the city.

Kirkuk has been under Kurdish control since they captured it from ISIS in 2014.