File - In this, Sept. 25, 2017 file photo, a boy carries a Kurdish flag on top of a car with pictures of Kurdish president Masoud Barzani and his son Masrour on the windows, in the disputed city of Kirkuk, Iraq. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)
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Iraqi government forces and Iranian-trained Iraqi paramilitaries are "preparing a major attack" on Kurdish forces in the oil-rich region of Kirkuk and near Mosul in northern Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government said Wednesday.But an Iraqi military spokesman denied any attack on Kurdish forces was planned and said that government troops were instead preparing to oust Daesh (ISIS) militants from a border area with Syria in the west of Iraq.Tensions between the KRG and the Iraqi government have been running high since the Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly voted for independence in a referendum last month.Iraqi forces and Shiite paramilitaries, known as Al-Hashd al-Shaabi, are deployed south and west of Kirkuk, in areas previously under the control of Daesh.
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