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Kurdish Peshmerga fighters rejected a warning from an Iraqi paramilitary force to withdraw from a strategic junction south of Kirkuk, which controls the access to some of the region's main oilfields, a Kurdish security official told Reuters on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani arrived in Iraq's Kurdistan region for talks about the escalating crisis between the Kurdish authorities and the Iraqi government following last month's Kurdish independence referendum.
Soleimani is the commander of foreign operations for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, a military corp providing training and weapons to Iraqi paramilitary groups backing the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad, known as Popular Mobilisation.
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