Iraq premier urges calm in Kurdish area

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Iraqi Army issued a statement saying the visit to Ibrahim Khalil and adjacent Turkish crossing Fish-Khabur was made so the government could decide what the security and military requirements were "to finish the implementation of the the decisions of the federal government to hold the worldwide border and the administration of the gates by the federal government".

And the suspension of the presidency, said Zaid Ali, author of "The Struggle for Iraq's Future", has created an impossible task for Kurdish lawmakers.

"We have raised the Iraqi flag over the border crossing with Turkey today and it is officially under the full control of the Iraqi government", said one of the officials, border police captain Ali Abdul Ilah.

Iraq's entire Turkish border is located within the autonomous region. The fields were previously operated by the KAR Group on behalf of the KRG, which had asserted its ownership over them since its Peshmerga forces seized them from Islamic State control in 2014.

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Iraqi forces took control of strategic locations in the Kurdish region, including an air base and the oil-rich area around the city of Kirkuk.

The statement appeared to reflect a US belief that the departure of Barzani, whose September 25 independence referendum is widely seen has having backfired, may make it easier for the two main Kurdish factions to work together and to negotiate with the federal government led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

The split between the Kurds and the Iraqi central government is a particular challenge for Washington, which is closely allied to both sides.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi military statement said that Baghdad was preparing to take control of the Kurdistan region's border with Syria.