The U.S.-led Coalition against ISIS is monitoring movements of personnel and military vehicles near Kirkuk, which have not resulted in attacks yet, Operation Inherent Resolve said in a release on Monday.
“These movements of military vehicles, so far, have been coordinated movements, not attacks,” OIR said.
“Coalition forces and advisors are not supporting Government of Iraq or Kurdistan Regional Government activities near Kirkuk, but are aware of reports of a limited exchange of fire during predawn hours of darkness Oct. 16,” the release noted.
On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered an operation to retake federal sites in Kirkuk from Kurdistan Regional Government and the Peshmerga forces control. Several people have reportedly been killed in clashes.
Update on the redeployment of ISF to Kirkuk pic.twitter.com/jmQEAGuWtt
— Government of Iraq (@IraqiGovt) October 16, 2017
The Coalition urged the two sides to avoid escalatory actions.
“We believe the engagement this morning was a misunderstanding and not deliberate as two elements attempted to link up under limited visibility conditions,” OIR said.
Commanding General of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command Major General Robert White said the Coalition continues to advocate dialogue between Iraqi and Kurdish authorities.
“All parties must remain focused on the defeat of our common enemy, ISIS, in Iraq,” he said.
— KR Security Council (@KRSCPress) October 16, 2017