Move comes as Iraqi government scrambles to take control of areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil.

Iraqi federal forces on Monday captured a strategic airbase in Kirkuk amid ongoing military operations to secure the northern oil-rich city, according to the Defense Ministry.

The ministry said in a statement that the federal police and rapid response forces had imposed security at the Al-Hurriya airbase south of Kirkuk.

The ministry did not report any clashes between government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters loyal to northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) during the operation to capture the facility.

Iraqi forces seize Tuz Khurmatu amid Kirkuk operation

The airbase has remained under Peshmerga control since 2014, when the Daesh terrorist group overran much of northern Iraq.

Earlier Monday, the Iraqi army launched a wide-ranging operation aimed at capturing military bases and oilfields in Kirkuk.

The move comes amid mounting tension between Baghdad and the Erbil-based KRG following last month’s illegitimate referendum on Kurdish regional independence.

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