Security Forces deployed in Kirkuk ahead of anticipated demonstrations

forces deployed in the central Kirkuk Governorate on Thursday in anticipation of impending protests following recent developments in the disputed region.

According to a security source, the Iraqi forces were positioned near Kirkuk Citadel in coordination with law enforcement units in preparation for expected protests organized by Kurds. These demonstrations are in protest of the denial of access to the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party within the governorate.

Earlier on Thursday, sources from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense reported that two high-ranking military commanders had arrived in Kirkuk Governorate to assume direct oversight of the security situation in the region, especially in light of recent events in the disputed area between Erbil and Baghdad.

The Chief of Staff of the Army, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, accompanied by the Commander of the Ground Forces, Lieutenant General Qasim Al-Muhammadi, were reported to have arrived in Kirkuk Governorate to oversee and address the evolving security situation personally.

Kirkuk, situated in northern Iraq, lies within the disputed territories and boasts a diverse population comprising Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and Christians. The city’s security situation has been marked by complexity and volatility, with tensions often escalating between ethnic and political factions.

Kirkuk’s status remains disputed, as the Kurds assert its inclusion within their autonomous region while the Iraqi government maintains its integral part in Iraq. The United Nations has proposed a referendum to determine Kirkuk’s status, though a consensus on the terms of such a referendum has yet to be reached.

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