Kirkuk remains a disputed territory and under Iraqi central government control since last year when they were deployed to take it back from the Peshmerga.

A man walks past a campaign poster ahead of the parliamentary election in Kirkuk, Iraq on May 11, 2018.
A man walks past a campaign poster ahead of the parliamentary election in Kirkuk, Iraq on May 11, 2018. (Reuters)

A year after a controversial independence referendum, Kirkuk, a mosaic of ethnicities, remains one of the most violent regions in Iraq. 

The Peshmerga forces of the Kurdish Regional Government in the country’s north drove Daesh out of the city, but security forces in the area are now taking orders directly from Baghdad. 

After defeating Daesh militants in their stronghold Mosul, the elite Golden Division are now deployed in Kirkuk.

The soldiers have information that certain polling stations might be targeted during the elections.

“I dare Daesh to try and take even one neighbourhood of Kirkuk - they couldn't. Territorially and militarily they've been defeated,” one Iraqi commander says. “But Daesh as a mindset is still there,” he warns. 

TRT World's Sara Firth reports. 

Source: TRT World