Iraq Seizes Last Kurdish Town in Kirkuk After Three-Hour Battle

Altun Kupri Puts Iraqi Troops Just 40km From Irbil

Continuing to press the offensive, Iraqi military forces occupied the Kurdish town of Altun Kupri today, in the northern part of Kirkuk Province. The town fell after a three-hour gunbattle with Kurdish Peshmerga.

This marked the last tip of Kirkuk to fall to Iraq, after an offensive launched at the start of the week. The Kurds had taken almost all of Kirkuk Province during the ISIS War, and after the Kurds voting to secede, Iraq’s parliament ordered troops in to retake the area.

Altun Kupri isn’t technically within the territory of the Kurdistan Regional Government, but immediately adjacent to it. As a Kurdish town, however, it’s long had a Peshmerga presence.

The fall of the town puts the Iraqi military right on the border of the KRG on multiple fronts, and Altun Kupri is just 40 kilometers from the Kurdish capital city of Irbil. While Iraq hasn’t been clear where the offensive will stop, so far there’s been only intermittent resistance from the Peshmerga.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.