Fierce fighting between Kurd factions despite US, British, and Turkish efforts
Iraq, Military, 10/16/1997
Fierce fighting between the Iraqi Kurds erupted on all fronts in spite of the US, British and Turkish efforts to put a ceasefire into effect.
Kurdish sources said that the fighting resulted in tens of deaths and casualties. The sources confirmed that the forces of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) headed by Jalal Talibani got hold of important sites on the strategic road of Hamilnon which stretches from Arbil to the Iranian borders. The forces cut the road connecting Dohol which is under the control of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headed by Masoud Barazani and the area of Salah Al Din which is Barazani's stronghold.
Sources confirmed that Salah Al Din was subjected to severe shelling and that fighting was fierce in the area of Ashqalan, near Salal Al Din. Meanwhile, Turkish sources in Ankara said that Turkish military units which withdrew from the northern Iraq decided to stay there in order to assist Barazani's forces. Talibani's PUK forces, which pledged to keep fighting till Barazani is subdued, are supported by Iran.
Talibani informed Washington that he is ready to stop fighting if Barazani declares his commitment to implementing the articles of the Ankara Agreement, which stipulates reviving Kurdish legislative and governmental institutions and dividing customs income in addition to holding new elections in northern Iraq.
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