Kirkuk, Oct 20: A Baghdad court has issued an arrest warrant for the vice president of Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish region for saying that Iraqi forces had 'occupied' the disputed province of Kirkuk this week.
However, the warrant against Kosrat Rasul is unlikely to be executed as the central government in Baghdad has no enforceable authority in the Kurdish-administered north.
The court accused Rasul of 'insulting' Iraq's armed forces, which is forbidden by Iraqi law.
On Monday, Iraq's federal forces, supported by Iranian-sponsored militias, rolled into the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, forcing Kurdish militias, known as the peshmerga, to withdraw after brief clashes.
The Kurds took over the city in 2014 when Iraq's army melted away ahead of the Islamic State's blitz across northern and western Iraq.
IS has since seen its hold on Iraq and north Syria crumble in the face of relentless air strikes by the US-led coalition and an array of forces battling it on the ground. At its peak it held a third of both countries.
In Kirkuk, residents were coming to terms on Thursday with the handover of the city back to Baghdad authorities. Many felt the two leading Iraqi Kurdish parties had betrayed their people and had ordered the peshmerga to pull back with hardlya fight.
Jumaa Khalaf said she felt "humiliated" by the two parties over the withdrawal.