Following an agreement with Kurdish authorities, Iraq’s federal forces peacefully retook control of all border crossings ringing the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
It came after an agreement between Baghdad and Erbil to facilitate the peaceful handover of the border crossings to the central Iraqi government.
The office of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi released a statement on Friday, saying the premier had ordered a 24-hour suspension of military operations against Kurdish militants.
The halt in fighting “should allow a joint technical committee... to work on the deployment of federal Iraqi forces in all disputed areas, including Fish-Khabur, and the international borders,” the statement read, adding, “This should prevent bloodshed between the children of the same country.”
The KRG likewise confirmed the truce saying it had taken effect at 1 a.m. local time on Friday.
Vahal Ali, the director of KRG President Masoud Barzani’s media office, has said that the “ceasefire is holding,” expressing the hope that talks between Erbil and Baghdad start soon.
The KRG held an independent referendum on September 25 in defiance of strong opposition from the central Iraqi government as well as the country’s neighbors, particularly Iran and Turkey.
The federal Iraqi forces, on October 16, managed to capture the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk from the KRG.