BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called upon his country’s armed forces to help the Kurdish military battle a Sunni militant offensive in northern Iraq that caused tens of thousands of people from the minority Yazidi community to flee their homes.

It was the first sign of cooperation between Baghdad and Irbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, since Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, was taken over by the Islamic State group in June, signaling a degree of rapprochement in the face of the country’s deteriorating security crisis.

Iraq’s military spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said Monday that al-Maliki commanded the air force to provide aerial support to the Kurds in the first sign of cooperation between the two militaries since Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, was captured by the militants June 10.

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