US appeals for calm as allies clash over Iraqi Kurdistan

US appeals for calm as allies clash over Iraqi Kurdistan

The US State Department has made an urgent call for calm in northern Iraq as Kurdish fighters and Iraqi forces clash over disputed territory.

"The United States is very concerned by reports of violence around Kirkuk, Iraq. We are monitoring the situation closely and call on all parties to coordinate military activities and restore calm," spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

"We strongly urge all parties to avoid provocations that can be exploited by Iraq's enemies who are interested in fueling ethnic and sectarian conflict. In particular, we note that there is still much work to be done to defeat ISIS in Iraq, and continued tensions between Iraqi and Kurdish forces distract from this vital mission. The United States will continue to stand with our Iraqi partners to ensure ISIS' defeat," she added.

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