An Iraqi soldier near a bridge across from Kurdish peshmerga positions on the southern outskirts of Kirkuk.
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Oil flowed normally from fields in northern Iraq even as government troops and allied militias faced off with forces from the independence-seeking Kurdish region on the outskirts of the disputed area of Kirkuk.Kirkuk, home to Iraq's oldest-producing oil fields, has emerged as a potential flashpoint of conflict between the country's federal government in Baghdad and the semi-autonomous KRG. The KRG included Kirkuk in the referendum, prompting Baghdad to deploy troops closer to Kurdish positions in the area.Kurdish forces occupied much of Kirkuk province in June 2014 after Iraqi government troops retreated ahead of the advancing militants.
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