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tiptrot.com January 16, 2018


Tensions rise as Iraq Kurds defy Baghdad in historic independence vote

26 September 2017, 12:15 | Bernice Figueroa

Tensions rise as Iraq Kurds defy Baghdad in historic independence vote

Tensions rise as Iraq Kurds defy Baghdad in historic independence vote

So far, 136 global observing teams, 142 worldwide media outlets, and 35 global individual observers have taken part in this process, Sherwan Zrar, the spokesperson of Kurdistan's Independent High Referendum and Electoral Commission (IHREC) told Rudaw on Saturday.

Turkey later took the Rudaw TV channel off its satellite service TurkSat, a Turkish broadcasting official told Reuters.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening a military intervention in Iraq in response to the Iraqi Kurdish region's referendum on independence from Baghdad.

United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres has warned of the "potentially destabilising" effects of the referendum.

"Hasty decisions by some of the officials of Iraqi Kurdistan limit Kurd's power to act through constructive dialogue in Iraq's government and pose challenges to the security of Kurdish people and the country of Iraq", Khosravi further remarked.

Barzani addressed concerns that Turkey would shut its border with the Kurdish region following the vote, saying he hoped Turkey would leave the crossing open.

Ankara's forces are again fighting a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey following the collapse of a peace process. "Discrimination between Iraqi citizens on the nationalist and ethnic foundation exposes Iraq to dangers known only by God", al-Abadi said from Baghdad.


Also on Sunday, Iran closed its airspace to all flights to and from the Kurdish region at the request of the Iraqi government.

Syria, embroiled in a devastating civil war and whose Kurds are pressing ahead with their own self-determination, rejected the referendum.

"We will seize our independence through the polls", he said. The Iranian president also spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. "If the "Yes" vote wins, we will resolve our issues with Baghdad peacefully".

The stations are dotted across the three provinces of Erbil, Sulaimaniyah and Dohuk that form the Iraqi Kurdistan Region as well as in disputed bordering zones such as the oil-rich province of Kirkuk. "It threatens Iraq, peaceful coexistence among Iraqis and is a danger to the region". "They have to register first and then vote", he said.

Even though the vote is nonbinding, the Kurdish leadership sees it as a way to send a signal to Baghdad about the region's desire for independence.

Turkey has also opposed the referendum and warned that the disintegration of Iraq has the potential to turn into a major global conflict.



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