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Kurdish commander threatens to fight Iraqi forces in disputed areas if deployment continues

The commander of Kurdish Peshmerga forces is warning that his troops might attack Iraqi government soldiers "at any minute," after Baghdad sent tanks and armored vehicles toward a disputed city.

The threat is the latest sign of heightened tensions over Iraq's declaration of a new military command in the area, including disputed segments. The Kurdish region has an autonomous government.

Mahmoud Sankawi says his forces are on high alert and will resist if the Iraq's central govenrment continues sending forces toward the city of Kirkuk. He said 30 tanks and several dozen armored vehicles were heading there overnight.

The new Baghdad command includes areas claimed by Iraqi Arabs, Turkomen and Kurds, notably in the key cities of Mosul and Kirkuk in the oil-rich region.

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