Iraqi forces and the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi moved into the disputed areas after a military operation on October 16, 2017. Photo: AFP /Ahmad al-Rubaye
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Hashd al-Shaabi has withdrawn its forces from urban areas in a number of towns it has taken from the Kurdish Peshmerga since Monday.
There are local reports of the Hashd paramilitary units withdrawing from all disputed areas, including in Khanaqin, Shingal, and Jalawla.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi requested all armed forces leave the urban areas in Kirkuk except for the Iraqi army and the federal police. It is not clear whether the order was also extended to all of the other areas.
Kurdish Peshmerga have said they withdrew to all areas they controlled before the Mosul offensive in June 2014.
The Peshmerga lost control of the oil-rich Kirkuk on Monday after a coordinated attack by the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shaabi.
Early on Thursday morning, people in Kurdish cities have come out celebrating the withdrawal of the Shiite forces, many waving the flag of Kurdistan.