Iraqi federal troops and Kurdish Peshmerga forces were facing off against each other in Salahuddin province, as MEES went to press. The military mobilization follows an armed clash on 16 November that is threatening to further destabilize an already explosive situation.

The shooting at Tuz Khurmatu, in which at least one person died, comes amid worsening relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad, in which KRG oil policy has up to now been the main arena for dispute. It follows the establishment by Baghdad of the Dijla Force or Tigris Operations Center (TOC), a new military command bringing together federal security forces in the sensitive provinces bordering the KRG: Ninevah, Diyala, Tamim and Salahuddin. (CONTINUED - 915 WORDS)