Iraqi and Kurdish forces have exchanged fire at a disputed town on the border between Baghdad’s federal territory and the Kurdistan Region, with reports saying it is still ongoing.
This comes after an offensive from Iraq pushed Kurdish forces from disputed territories such as the oil-rich Kirkuk province.
Iraqi artillery slammed Kurdish positions north and south of Altun Kupri, and the Peshmerga responded with rocket fire.
Kurdish authorities scrambled reinforcements for the front lines, with the Associated Press reporting 50 armoured vehicles arriving to back the Kurdish military, or Peshmerga.
Reports indicate that the Iraqi’s have entered the town and the Kurdish have blown a bridge leading to Kurdistan’s capital of Erbil, but the bridge is unconfirmed.
Lying along the border of the autonomous territory of the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, Altun Kupri is claimed by Baghdad. It sits on the Little Zab River, which loosely straddles the border of Kurdistan in that area.
The town, known locally as “Altun Kopru”, was taken by Kurds after Iraqi troops fled from their positions during the Daesh (IS) advance in 2014.
It is a major transit point for Erbil.
More details to follow. Image 1 of Iraqi forces entering the town of Altun Kupri from journalist Steven Nabil’s Twitter.