Turkey, Iran and Iraq warn of 'counter-measures' against Kurd vote

Sep 24, 2017, 00:33
Turkey, Iran and Iraq warn of 'counter-measures' against Kurd vote

It warned that Ankara was prepared to use its "rights" in line with worldwide agreements.

On the Iranian front, a commander of its elite Revolutionary Guards, Major General Qassem Soleimani, held talks with Barzani in Arbil.

Turkey, which is home to the largest Kurdish population in the region, fears that the Kurdistan plebiscite would embolden the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in its push for autonomy in Turkey's southeastern areas.

Iraqi Kurdistan authorities have called the vote for September 25, drawing worldwide criticism.

On June 7, the Kurdish President Masoud Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq on September 25.

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Barzani accused Baghdad of failing to build partnership with Kurdistan. The town and the governorate are disputed between Baghdad and the northern Kurdish autonomous region.

Rallies have taken place in other Kurdistan cities, as well as in Brussels, New York, London, Beirut and Washington, D.C.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim warned on Saturday that Ankara's actions in response to a controversial independence referendum in Iraq's Kurdistan region would have "economic and security dimensions".

The council urged "dialogue and compromise" to address differences between the Iraqi government and the regional authorities.

And they have forged impressive fighting forces - the peshmerga in Iraq and the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria - that have been most effective in taking on the reactionary Islamic State in both countries.

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The vote comes days before Iraqi Kurds are to vote on their independence from Baghdad but the two elections are not related.

Ahmed al-Asadi says the Shiite militias were pushing west of the IS-held town of Hawija on Friday, following the formal launch of the operation to retake the area - one of the last extremist strongholds in Iraq - the previous day. He said the poll was "rejected, whether today or in the future".

Yilmaz said that the referendum would endanger security in the region, adding, "Israel wants to use Barzani against Iran".

The Kurdish delegation met with representatives of the Shi'ite ruling coalition in Baghdad, and with the Iraqi president, Fuad Masum, himself a Kurd, whose role is largely ceremonial.

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