Kurdistan govt deploys ‘tens of thousands’ of fighters in Kirkuk to confront Iraqi ‘threats’

Tens of thousands of Kurdish fighters have been deployed in the multi-ethnic oil region of Kirkuk to confront possible “threats” from Iraqi forces, Kurdish TV channel Rudaw quoted the vice president of the Kurdistan region, Kosrat Rasul, as saying on Friday. “Tens of thousands of Kurdish Peshmerga and security forces are already stationed in and around Kirkuk,” he said, as cited by Reuters. “At least 6,000 additional Peshmerga were deployed since Thursday night to face the Iraqi forces’ threat.” The Iraqi central government said on Thursday it would not hold talks with the Kurdish autonomous region on reopening its airports and providing dollars for its banks, unless the Kurds commit to “Iraq’s unity” following the September 25 referendum on independence.