UN Security Council Warns Iraqi Kurds Against Referendum

Inside of the Peshmerga camp at Nawaran

Inside of the Peshmerga camp at Nawaran

A joint declaration opposing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) independence referendum in northern Iraq has been issued following a trilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of Turkey, Iraq and Iran, the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday.

The UN Security Council has warned of the potentially destabilising impact of a planned referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Last Monday, the Turkish army launched a highly visible military drill near the Habur border crossing to Iraq.

Akar and al-Ghanimi emphasized the importance of cooperation in the fight against PKK and Daesh, the statement said.

"I want to say once again that we, as Turkey, will support a solution within the Iraqi Constitution".

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Iraqi Kurds fly Kurdish flags during a pro-independence rally in the city of Erbil on September 22, 2017.

Turkey with Iran and Russian Federation agreed this month "to allocate" their forces to patrol the zone covering rebel-held Idlib province in northwestern Syria and parts of the neighbouring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo regions to ease the six-year conflict.

Kurds make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East and are spread among parts of Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey.

He directed the Peshmerga to be prepared to "pay whatever cost" necessary to protect Kurdistan, because they will not allow the region to fall to the enemy.

A "yes" vote in the independence referendum would not spell immediate independence for the Kurdish region, since the referendum does not have legal force. It appears virtually nothing may prevent him from proceeding with vote, despite objections of number of states, turkologist Mushegh Khudaverdyan told Panorama.am, when asked to comment on the upcoming vote.

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The Turkish parliament convened for a debate and vote on extending a mandate that authorizes Turkish troop deployments to Iraq and Syria, and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim alluded to possible military moves.

The head of the Kurdistan region of Iraq rejected all local, regional and global pressure to postpone the referendum, saying: "They have been pressing us day and night". Tensions between the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad hinge on oil revenue the Kurds see as the mainstay of a future Kurdish state.

Washington's arrogant and condescending demand that the Kurds put off their vote reflects the longstanding hostility of the USA capitalist rulers to the struggle of the over 30 million Kurds for their own state.

The Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum is scheduled for September 25.

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