army troops began redeploying in the disputed province of Kirkuk upon an order
by Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi in December stipulating the withdrawal of
the counter-terror forces from the city, an officer said.
The Special Forces units also arrived in the city, the officer said, to replace the counter-terrorism forces which have been running the security issues of Kirkuk after the Kurdistan referendum.
In October 2017, the federal government forces took control of Kirkuk which was formerly controlled by the Peshmerga forces. For many years, there have been outstanding problems between Baghdad and Erbil, including the disputed areas, oil management, and financing and arming of the Peshmerga forces.
Article 140 of the Constitution stipulates the normalization of the status of Kirkuk and other areas in Nineveh, Salahuddin and Diyala. It also stipulates counting the number of people who will decide on keeping these areas affiliated with Baghdad or moving them to be part of the Kurdistan region.