Kudish troops fire on Iraqi Helo
Troops from Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan opened fire on an Iraqi army helicopter on Tuesday, officials said. Kurdistan Peshmerga officials said on Tuesday they fired on an Iraqi military helicopter near Sikanyan town just north of the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, to keep the aircraft from taking surveillance pictures of their military positions. A local mayor in the area confirmed the incident. But there was no immediate response from the Iraqi central government.
News of the clash came just hours after authorities announced Iraq's President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, had been hospitalized following a stroke that had left him in critical but stable condition. A veteran Kurdish politician, Talabani has been a key mediator between Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government who are growing further apart over how to control oil wealth and the disputed territories between their two regions.
Iraq's government and self-ruled Kurdistan last month both sent troops from their respective armies to reinforce positions around towns in disputed areas where they both claim control as part of a broader feud over oil and territory.The growing rift between Baghdad and Kurdistan is the most challenging test to Iraq's federal unity since the last American troops left a year ago, removing a buffer of U.S. military presence from an area long seen as a flashpoint for conflict. Iraqi armed forces and Kurdish Peshmerga have faced off before only to back off before any major confrontation and U.S. officials have been in talks with both regions to try to ease tensions between them.
Posted by: Pappy 2012-12-19