Iraqi soldiers are seen at K1 airbase in the northwest of Kirkuk city, Iraq on Oct. 16, 2017. Iraqi security forces on Monday fully recaptured the city of Kirkuk and took control of the government building after the Kurdish forces withdrew from the city, a local security source told Xinhua. (Xinhua Photo)
BAGHDAD, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi military on Friday said the Kurdish Peshmerga forces used German rocket in fighting against Iraqi federal forces at a disputed area in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.
A statement by the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said that Iraq appreciates the arming programs of the world countries to support the Iraqi forces, including the Peshmerga forces, on the fighting against Islamic State (IS) group, but "unfortunately today the German missiles supplied to the Peshmerga to fight IS exclusively were used against the federal forces in the Alton Kupri area, causing damages and victims."
Earlier in the day, the Iraqi forces redeployed in the town of Altun Kupri, some 40 km north of Kirkuk, and took full control of the town.
However, the Kurdish media network of Rudaw said heavy clashes erupted in the morning between the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces in Altun Kupri, and the Kurdish forces managed to repel the advance of the security forces after burning two military vehicles for the Hashd Shaabi.
The strategic town of Altun Kupri is located between Kirkuk and the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil.
The advance toward Atlun Kupri came a few days after the Iraqi forces retook control of the oil installations, oil fields and pipelines in the oil-rich Kirkuk province and other disputed areas outside the Kurdish region.
On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, ordered government forces to enter the oil-rich Kirkuk province in northern Iraq to regain control of the ethnically-mixed disputed areas.
Tensions are escalating between Baghdad and the region of Kurdistan after the Kurds held a controversial referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan region and the disputed areas.
The independence of Kurdistan is opposed not only by the Iraqi central government, but also by other countries as it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and undermine the fight against IS militants.
Iraq's neighboring countries, especially Turkey, Iran and Syria, fear that the Iraqi Kurds' pursuit of independence threatens their territorial integrity, as large Kurdish populations live in those countries.