Latest in Kirkuk: Peshmerga abandoned city, guerrilla resisting
Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi army forces have been attacking Kirkuk since last night. Peshmerga forces have completely withdrawn from Kirkuk while the guerrilla resists in the city. Clashes are reportedly spreading in the vicinity of Hewlêr Road - Rahimava.
In Kirkuk, the Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi army forces set out from Taza last night at around 02.00. Hashd al-Shaabi attempted to take the Kirkuk Bridge after Taza when clashes broke out in Xurmatû. Clashes moved over to the Pîşesaxî neighborhood close to the city center by 03.00.
From this morning on, the clashes had mostly subsided. There hadn’t been much fighting in many locations, and the peshmerga had withdrawn. At 10.00 to 11.00 in the morning, clashes broke out in Daquq and Daquq, Xurmatû, Taza and Tel Wert were taken over.
Hashd al-Shaabi forces moved towards Keyvan from 11.00 onwards and took it. The Peshmerga let this place go as well. Later on they attempted to move into the city from the Arafa side.
Then they moved from Teyvan towards Arafa and Peylak, where they were to enter the security center abandoned by the KDP peshmerga and security forces. At that time intense clashes occurred on the bridge. Hashd al-Shaabi forces attacked with tanks.
The clashes continue and expand in Arafa, Peylak, Rehimava on the Hewler Road and inside the city.
THE PEOPLE AND THE GUERRILLA RESIST
Guerrilla forces, volunteer fighters from the public and the peshmergas who didn’t abandon the city continue to defend Kirkuk. To this end, all main roads including the Kirkuk-Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk-Hewlêr roads have been closed. The roads have reportedly been closed to prevent possible attacks and certain groups from leaving the city. Thousands have flocked to the defense line formed by the guerrillas in Kirkuk and say they will not abandon the city under any circumstances.
According to ANF reporters in Kirkuk, Peshmerga forces have completely withdrawn from Kirkuk. Some peshmergas who didn’t want to withdraw have joined the resistance in the ranks of the guerrilla.
Iraq Joint Forces Command claim that they have taken some areas. Iraq issued a statement and said, “Our forces have taken the Xald bridge, Riyaz road, Xald school, Meryem Beg gate, Reshd-Meryem Beg road, Pîşesaxî and Tirklam neighborhoods, Yaycî town, Bakur gas factory, the police center and the oil refinery by the gas factory.”