SALAH AL-DIN / Aswat al-Iraq: A force from the 9th division of the Iraqi army in Baghdad crossed Hamrien Mountains heading for Kirkuk to strengthen their military deployment as part of the security tension between Baghdad and Arbil, a military source said on Tuesday.
"Top military officers ordered the armored force from the 9th division of the army in Baghdad to head for Kirkuk," the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, denying to give further details about the nature of their mission.
Tensions have been building between the autonomous Kurdish region and the central government in Baghdad since the departure of US forces from Iraq in December, which removed a buffer between the two sides.
Relations have been strained further by the formation of a new command center for Iraqi forces to operate in an area over which both Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) claim jurisdiction.
One person died in a shootout on Friday between Iraqi forces and Kurdish troops in Touz Khurmato, 170 km (100 miles) north of the Iraqi capital.