Kirkuk governorate profile, June 2015

Situated in northern Iraq, with a total population of 902,019 Kirkuk is the center of the northern Iraqi petroleum industry and thus of great strategic and economic importance to the Baghdad Central Government.
Due to this importance, the Kirkuk’s administrative status is disputed by the Iraqi Central Government and the Kurdistan Government.
The conflict, which broke out in December 2013 has already displaced over 370,000 IDP individuals to or within Kirkuk; additionally, more than 70,000 IDP individuals across Iraq originate in this governorate. The security situation in Kirkuk remains tense as heavy clashes between Armed Groups (AGs) and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are ongoing, causing more Iraqis to flee. The fights are occurring in particular in Dabes district. Reportedly, Alton Kopri area and the Dabes district center is still accessible. However, the areas around them remain under AGs control. Moreover, the main road between Kirkuk and Dabes districts is closed. Access to Al-Hawiga district also remains limited due to the AGs activity. As ISF have reclaimed control over various areas of Kirkuk, IOM staff reported return movement to the southern and western parts of the governorate. 

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