October 16, 2017 / 3:31 AM / a year ago

U.S. State Department says 'very concerned' about reports of Kirkuk confrontation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Sunday it was watching developments in the disputed region of Kirkuk and was “very concerned” about reports of a confrontation, after Iraqi government forces clashed with Kurdish Peshmerga.

“We are monitoring the situation in Kirkuk closely and are very concerned by reports of a confrontation,” a State Department official said. “We are engaged with all parties in Iraq to de-escalate tension.”

The Iraqi government earlier said its forces took control of “vast areas” in the Kirkuk region, including oilfields west of the city, in the early hours of Monday, Iraqi state TV said. However the Kurdistan Regional Government disputed the assertions.

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Paul Tait

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