On Friday Iraqi forces seized another town from Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, ordered government forces to enter the oil-rich Kirkuk province in northern Iraq to regain control of the ethnically-mixed disputed areas.
According to a statement issued by the Kurdish leadership, von der Leyen discussed the latest political developments, as well as the details of the relationship between the Kurdish region and Iraq, in a phone call with President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani.
However, the Kurdish media network of Rudaw said heavy clashes erupted in the morning between the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi forces in Altun Kupri, and the Kurdish forces managed to repel the advance of the security forces after burning two military vehicles for the Hashd Shaabi. I'm urging the coalition forces to come and help us.
Iraqi and Kurdish forces exchanged fire on the border between Federal and Kurdish regions on Friday, the Associated Press reported. Its loss makes their quest for independence appear remote, since it would leave them with only about half the oil revenue they had sought to claim for themselves.
Since then, the Kurdish population in the city has protested the presence of Iraqi forces, accusing them of mistreating people and the national flag of Kurdistan. "What is this agreement between the Americans and the Iranians?" said Harem Shukur, a Peshmerga fighter outside Altun Kupri.
It is not the Kurds who face an existential crisis.
An Iraqi military spokesman accused the Peshmerga of using rockets supplied by Germany.
Al-Abadi said Kurdish hopes for an independent state were now "a thing of the past". Berlin suspended it last week as tensions mounted.