The Iraqi army has established control over the town of Sinjar in the Nineveh Province, after the withdrawal of Kurdish Peshmerga forces from their positions, according to local media.

The Kurdish Peshmerga forces, after abandoning their positions, were attacked by the Iraqi forces east of the town, Rudaw reported.

On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi ordered the country’s army and police to secure bases and federal facilities in the Kirkuk province after the Kurdish independence vote, which Baghdad said was illegal.

Iraqi forces on Monday established control over a number of military and transport facilities including oil fields, the airport and military base.

Kirkuk had been controlled since 2014 by the Peshmerga. The conflict between Baghdad and Erbil over Kirkuk worsened after the oil-rich province took part in the independence vote on September 25.

“The Kurds will counterattack, at the moment the troops are put on standby in order to retake regions seized by the Iraqi forces,” said Khoshavi Babakr, Iraqi Kurdistan representative in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Babakr stressed that latest developments would not push the province’s authorities to annul the vote results.

He also underlined that such moves would enhance Kurdistan Region’s attempts to gain independence from Iraq.