Clashes Between Kurds and Baghdad Risk New Faultline in Iraq

Kurds cast ballots in Kirkuk

Iraqi forces seized the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk on Monday, according to Kurdish and Iraqi officials, leaving Washington scrambling to respond to the surprise dawn assault.

American officials seemed taken aback by the attack, with the State Department saying only it was closely monitoring the situation in Kirkuk and the Pentagon seeking to cast the fighting as an isolated incident stemming from a “misunderstanding.”

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