ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Kurdish and Iraqi troops came close to confrontation south of Kirkuk on Tuesday when Peshmerga forces fired at two unmanned Iraqi aircrafts. A Peshmerga commander who wished to remain anonymous told Rudaw “Our Peshmerga forces shot down an manned Iraqi surveillance aircraft,” The commander said that the aircraft had been sent by the Iraqi army to collect information on Peshmerga troops deployed in the disputed territories. Deputy Minister of Peshmerga Anwar Haji Osman said that Kurdish anti-aircraft guns fired at the plane but that they weren’t “sure if the plane was down.” “However, information we have gained from the Iraqi army confirms that the plane had been shot down,” Osman added. Erbil and Baghdad have been locked in a serious dispute for weeks, since Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki dispatched his newly-formed and controversial Dijla forces to take over security in disputed northern territories which are also claimed by the Kurds, who sent in thousands of their own Peshmarga troops. On Wednesday, the chief of staff of the ministry of Peshmerga Jabar Yawar released a statement, saying, “The Kurdish forces only fired warning shots at two Iraqi aircrafts to make them leave the Peshmerga units.” Yawar maintained that his ministry has warned the Iraqi government that such incidents shouldn’t occur again. “Tuesday’s incident was not premeditated and it wasn’t conducted upon orders of the Kurdistan leadership,” Yawar said. “What triggered it was the aircrafts that came too close to the Peshmerga units.” According to Yawar, a high level team from the Peshmerga Ministry visited the area on Wednesday and advised the Kurdish units against repeating such acts in the future. The president of the autonomous Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani told Kurdish troops on the frontlines of a standoff with Iraqi forces last week that he hoped for a peaceful resolution of a row with Baghdad over disputed territories, but that if there was war the Kurdish cause was just. “War is not a nice thing. Throughout history the Kurdish nation has never liked war, but they were always ready to protect their land and dignity. They would rather die than live under oppression,” Barzani said, accompanied by the Peshmarga minister.