Peshmerga and locals celebrate the New Year on front line facing Iraqi forces
Peshmerga forces and locals celebrated New Year's Eve in areas just outside the Iraqi-controlled Makhmur town.
The town, about 60 km southwest of Erbil, came under control of the Iraqi forces and the Iranian-backed Shiite militia in mid-October following the withdrawal of the Kurdish fighters.
A ceasefire was announced between the Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga in late October which followed deadly clashes that month in the disputed or Kurdistani areas still remains in place.
Kurdistan Region Security Council, however, stated in late December that they were alarmed by a buildup of the Iraqi military in Makhmur.
The Security Council said that Peshmerga withdrew from Makhmur, a disputed town, in October to avoid military clashes. It demanded the various Iraqi forces in the town to restrain from carrying out any attacks.
Photos: AFP/Safin Hamed