BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:05 A.M.) – A large convoy consisting of Iraqi Army, Federal Police, and Hashd Al-Sha’abi soldiers entered the Greater Kirkuk area last night after tensions reached an all-time high this past weekend between pro-government and KRG supporters around the provincial capital.

Once the Iraqi Armed Forces reached the outskirts of Kirkuk, the Kurdish Peshmerga quickly abandoned several sites around the city, including the provincial airport, K1 Military Base, and Afana Oil Field.

However, not all sites were abandoned by the Kurdish forces, as media reports from Hashd Al-Sha’abi indicate that several of their units clashed with Peshmerga fighters outside the provincial capital this morning.

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Haidar Al-‘Abadi, stated on Sunday that his government’s forces are not interested in violent confrontation, but will defend themselves if attacked or threatened.

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