Turkey stops training Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga after independence vote

Oct 02, 2017, 00:43
Turkey stops training Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga after independence vote

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on September 28 that he wants to hold a summit with Iranian and Iraqi leaders to coordinate their response to the Kurdish vote for independence in Iraq.

They will not enter the Kurdish region, but instead Iraqi customs administrators backed by the troops will set up control points just outside the Kurdish border stations, the officials said.

The move by a trilateral front consisting of Iran, Iraq and Turkey is aimed at isolating the Kurds following their controversial vote on independence last Monday.

"It was decided that Iranian Armed Forces together with a number of units from Iraqi army stage a joint drill in upcoming days on border regions of Ghasr-e Shirin, Parvis-Khan border point, Bashmagh boder in Marivan, and Tamarchin border in Iranshahr, all in western part of the country", he added.

"It demonstrates the continued legal and humanitarian violations against the people of Kurdistan, under the pretext of enforcing Iraqi federal authority", Kurdistan government spokesman Safeen Dizayee said, as quoted in the statement.

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Northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) would pay a price for holding an illegitimate referendum despite strong opposition from Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday.

A day after Baghdad cut global air links with the region, Iran's state broadcaster said all transport companies and drivers have been ordered to stop carrying fuel products between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan "until further notice".

Iran also closed its borders and stopped flights to Iraqi Kurdistan airports.

State carrier Qatar Airways was just the latest airline to announce all flights to and from the Kurdish region would be cancelled starting tomorrow.

The US does not recognise the independence referendum and urges an end to "threats of reciprocal actions", US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

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Iraq's Transport Ministry ordered global airlines to halt service to Irbil, the Kurdish regional capital, and Sulaimaniyah, its second city, beginning Friday evening.

In defiance of Baghdad, the self-ruled Kurdish region has been unilaterally exporting crude oil produced in their region and contested areas through Turkey.

Iraq's government has also attempted to pressure Kurds to walk back their vote, demanding that they hand over control of airports and borders and imposing a ban on worldwide flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan on Friday.

The KRG also refused to relinquish control of its border crossings, Erbil-based TV Rudaw said on Friday, citing a Kurdish official.

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