Kurdish forces pulled out from the towns of Qaraj and Bashiqa in northern Iraq.

Iraqi forces on Tuesday captured three disputed areas in the eastern Diyala province, according to a local police officer.

Government forces seized control of the districts of Khanaqin, Jalawla and Kalar following a Kurdish troop pullout, Police Capt. Habib al-Shammari told Anadolu Agency. 

Meanwhile, Kurdish forces pulled out from the towns of Qaraj and Bashiqa in the northern Mosul city.

“The withdrawal is going on smoothly upon instructions from the Kurdish leadership,” Kurdish officer Taher Saadullah al-Duski said.

He said Kurdish commanders were now holding a meeting with their Iraqi counterparts to reach an agreement on the full handover of Makhmur axis.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kurdish forces began to withdraw from Makhmur district, southeast of Mosul.

Kurdish forces seized control of disputed areas in the provinces of Kirkuk, Nineveh, Diyala and Saladin when the Daesh terrorist group swept through northern Iraq in 2014 and the army collapsed.

On Monday, Iraqi forces seized full control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk amid tension between Baghdad and Erbil over last month’s illegitimate referendum on Kurdish independence.

 Pro-government forces seized control of the Parwezkhan border crossing between Iraq and Iran on Tuesday, according to an Iraqi security official. 

“Hashd al-Shaabi fighters, stationed on the Iranian side, have crossed the border and seized control of the crossing,” the official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.

NRT TV, which broadcasts from the northern city of Sulaymaniya, also quoted officials at the crossing confirming the news.

Iran has three main crossings with northern Iraq’s Kurdish region: Haji Omaran (in the Erbil province), Parwezkhan, and Bashmaq.

All oil fields and facilities in Kirkuk province are now under the full control of Iraq’s Oil Ministry, a ministry spokesman said Tuesday. 

“The ministry now holds also oil wells and facilities in Kirkuk,” Asim Cihad told Anadolu Agency. 

On Monday, Iraqi forces captured Kirkuk, three weeks after the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) held a referendum on the secession of northern Iraq’s Kurdish region. 

Oil-rich Kirkuk is claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil.

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