The Washington Post reports: Kurdish troops and Iraqi Shiite forces exchanged mortar and machine-gun fire Sunday in a flare-up that killed at least 12 people and raised concerns about the state’s ability to control an array of armed militia groups as areas are freed from the Islamic State.
The fighting broke out in Tuz Khurmatu, an ethnically and religiously mixed tinderbox town that is 120 miles north of Baghdad. Both sides blamed each other for the conflagration.
The Islamic State was pushed out of the surrounding area in 2014, but the armed groups here have since jostled for control and influence. Keeping militias under state control, and preventing them from turning on one another, is a major test for the Iraqi government as it slowly claws back territory from the Islamist militants. [Continue reading…]