Iraq takes over control of Kurdish border crossing into Turkey

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Iraq's Kurdish region said Thursday that it had offered a joint Kurdish-Iraqi deployment at a strategic crossing into Turkey with the participation of USA -led global forces, as part of a compromise aimed at ending a standoff with Baghdad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Friday announced a suspension of an offensive that began on October 16, 2017 to take over territory claimed by the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Independent Government (KRG).

On Wednesday, Peshmerga officials loyal to northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said the Faysh Khabur crossing remained operational and "under Peshmerga control".

"We will not allow it; the federal forces are mandated to secure (the disputed) areas and borders".

Tension has mounted steadily between Baghdad and the KRG since September 25, when the latter held an illegitimate referendum on regional independence.

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The Kurdish statement came a few hours after the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) on Wednesday night accused the Kurdish military of reneging on the draft of agreement.

According to the statement, throughout the negotiations, the Kurdish autonomy carried out the redeployment of its troops and the construction of new defensive fortifications in order to impede the advancement of the federal troops. It is the only point of access between Turkey and Kurdistan.

Iraqis troops on Tuesday set up positions between the Turkish and the Iraqi Kurdish checkpoints at the Habur border crossing between the Turkish town of Silopi and the Iraqi town of Zakho.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces deployed in Kirkuk in 2014, when the Iraqi army fled in the face of an advance by Islamic State militants. That meant vehicles crossing the border were subject to three checks.

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