Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material can't be published, transferred, copied or redistributed.
Forces pulled down the Kurdish flag which had been flying alongside the national flag, according to Reuters.
Neither side gave a casualty toll for the operation.
They rejected what they described as "military threats" from Iraqi forces against Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, and pledged to defend Kurdish-held territory in case of an attack.
The exodus in buses and cars towards Arbil and Sulaimaniyah, the two main cities of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, created traffic jams on roads leading out of Kirkuk. A resident of Kirkuk said today that ethnic Turkmen were firing guns into the air in celebration of the takeover by government forces.
Tensions are escalating between Baghdad and the region of Kurdistan after the Kurds held the September controversial referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan region and the disputed areas. To Baghdad, it looked like a provocation that underscored what it sees as unchecked Kurdish expansionism. The vastly outmatched Kurdish fighters withdrew from the city en masse, and journalists were left to wander into abandoned barracks and administrative buildings.
Pro-PUK forces were deployed south of the city, including at oil fields, while fighters loyal to the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party, linked to Iraqi Kurd leader Massud Barzani who initiated the referendum, were deployed to the north.
State-run Al-Iraqiya TV had earlier reported that federal forces rolled into parts of the countryside outside Kirkuk without facing resistance. The Iranian-sponsored militias are viewed with deep suspicion by Iraq's Kurds, who see them as a policy implement of Tehran that threatens demographic change.
Vahal Ali, a media assistant to Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani, denied the accusation.
The ethnically and religiously diverse city has always been a flashpoint between the central government in Baghdad and the northern Kurdish region.
The disruptions could prove to be temporary but there are other tensions in the wider Middle East, said Neil Wilson of ETX Capital: "The prospect of fresh USA sanctions on Iran may offer longer-term support to prices". Washington has called for "all parties to immediately cease military action and restore calm", adding that Isis remained the true enemy of all parties in Iraq and they should focus on its elimination.
The action in Iraq helped spur a jump in world oil prices on Monday.
Baghdad considers last month's Kurdish independence vote illegal, especially as it was held not just in the autonomous region but in Kirkuk and other neighbouring areas the Kurdish Peshmerga occupied after driving out Islamic State.
The Kurdish secession bid was strongly opposed by neighbours Iran and Turkey.
The Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry quickly dismissed the allegations.
A Kurdish customs official, Shakhwan Abu Bakr, earlier said that the border had been closed to all people and goods at the three crossings into Iran.
The Iraqi parliament asked Mr Abadi to deploy troops to Kirkuk and other disputed areas after the referendum result was announced, but he said last week that he would accept them being governed by a "joint administration" and that he did not want an armed confrontation.
The status of Kirkuk and fate of the Kurds were left unsettled 14 years ago when a USA -led invasion toppled Saddam.
During the years of United States occupation that followed, Washington leaned on its Kurdish allies to keep their ambitions in check to avoid triggering another war amid an insurgency by Sunni Arabs.
Kurdish controlled areas of Iraq, the second-biggest oil producer in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), had historically been the most productive in the country and contained much of the nation's infrastructure.
"The referendum came at a time where the country is fighting against terrorism that has come in the form of ISIL". But the vote angered neighbours and put pressure on Abadi to act.
Among the facilities captured Monday were the provincial airport, a key military base known as K1, the North Gas Co. and a power plant, government officials said.
In a statement, the Turkish government said it would stand by Baghdad to provide peace and stability in the region.
About 19,000 civilian and military service personnel are working in recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. It knocked out electricity to the whole island and caused widespread damage to homes and infrastructure.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says the Trump administration will withdraw from Obama-era Clean Power Plan to slow global warming. At the same meeting, Pruitt announced the upcoming start of the process of withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan (CPP ).
Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 11,442 shares of the company's stock, valued at $65,562.66. A low number in the 1-2 range typically indicates a Buy, 3 represents a Hold and 4-5 represents a consensus Sell rating.
Mourinho took the Manchester United job last May, replacing Louis van Gaal despite the Dutchman scooping the FA Cup. Romelu Lukaku has the potential to be the best but he needs to keep doing what he's doing to get there.
He disagreed with the European Commission's statement on Monday that events in Catalonia were an internal issue for Spain. That police action was met with furious protests and the Catalan regional police were accused of failing to intervene.
According to some gig-goers, the singer had been attempting to climb the prop before they gave way and fell on top of him. Variety reported that the house and stage lights remained down for several minutes as crew members tried to help Manson.
Tens of thousands of acres have burned in multiple wildfires in Napa County Monday morning, Cal Fire officials said . Firefighters were also battling a 50-acre grass fire on Highway 37 between Lakeville Highway and Highway 121.
Iran's ballistic missile program has triggered the discontent and concerns of other states, in particular, the United States. He stressed that if new sanctions are imposed on Iran , the chance for any interaction will be lost forever.
Authorities say the suspect in the shooting was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the fifth floor. Carpenter Robert Pagan said he was working in the building when he heard gunfire and ran to help.
People trapped in rubble after Mogadishu blast
A huge explosion has reportedly hit one of the busiest street in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu, number of casualties is unknown. The prime minister's office announced the resignation of Abdullahi and army chief Ahmed Mohamed Jimale Irfid on Thursday.
India, Australia 3rd T20I match called off
The match scheduled to begin at 7 pm is likely to be threatened by possible light to moderate showers as per weather forecasts. The T20I series is locked 1-1 after Australia defeated India by eight wickets in the second match at Guwahati on October 10.
Trump To Make Downgraded Visit To Britain In Early 2018
Mr Trump's visit will now take place without the glitz and pomp of a full state visit, the Evening Standard reported . The visit may be timed to coincide with the opening of the new USA embassy near Battersea Power station, sources said.
ISIS claims responsibility for mass shooting in Las Vegas
He urged followers to "intensify one attack after another against the infidels", following a spike in global terror attacks. Paddock reportedly killed himself as police moved in on the 32nd-floor hotel room he was using to shoot down on the crowd.
Netanyahu: Israel Won't Accept Palestinian Unity Deal
This is far from the first attempt at Palestinian reconciliation - and Hamas will want something in return for concessions. Officials on both sides said the more hard issues will be addressed at the upcoming talks in Cairo.
Max Verstappen wins the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix
And Vettel continued his criticism of the former Scuderia favourite after the race, adding: "Fernando chose to jump in the middle. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished in second place, while Verstappen's team mate Daniel Ricciardo took third place.
Hurricane Lee remnants to usher in heavy rain and gales
The National Hurricane Center's official forecast cone has Maria passing off the coast of the Carolinas early to mid-week. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, according to the National Hurricane Center .