Iraqi and Kurdish forces have agreed to temporarily pause their fighting.
This has the potential to open the door for talks, NPR's Jane Arraf reports, after Iraqi forces moved to wrest territory from the Kurds, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
The Kurdish autonomous region held a non-binding independence referendum last month, despite the opposition of Iraq's government and other regional and international powers. Voters overwhelmingly approved the proposal.
Earlier this week, the Kurdish regional government offered to freeze its bid for independence, an offer the Iraqi government did not accept. It has urged the Kurds to void the results. Then came the ceasefire announcement.
"Kurdish officials say the agreement was brokered by the United States," as Jane reports. "U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to urge him to enter talks with the Kurds."