The governor of Kirkuk Governate met with Kurdish fighters who had rallied in Kirkuk city on Saturday, October 14, as Iraqi government forces and Shia militias massed near the city.
Al Jazeera reported that officials from the Kurdistan regional government claimed that they had been given a deadline by Baghdad to withdraw Peshmerga fighters from the city.
The oil-rich and majority Kurdish region of Kirkuk has become a flashpoint in tensions between the Baghdad government and Erbil following the September 25 Kurdish independence referendum. Kurdish forces took formal control of the city and surrounding oil fields after Iraqi army units fled advancing Islamic State forces in 2014.
Kurdish TV station Rudaw captured this footage of Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim addressing fighters in Kirkuk. Credit: Twitter/ Rudaw via Storyful