United States 'strongly opposes' Iraqi Kurd referendum

  • United States 'strongly opposes' Iraqi Kurd referendum

United States 'strongly opposes' Iraqi Kurd referendum

Tension in the city rose after the Kurdish-led provincial council voted this month to include it in a referendum planned by the Kurdistan regional government of northern Iraq.

Barzani has said the Kurds will never surrender any of the territory they now hold in Iraq. The KRG has continuously prioritised and chosen Turkey over its powerful Iranian neighbour, and worked to bolster its mutual interests as well as ties. The Turkish government considers the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey a terrorist group. Ironically, Ankara and Arbil have developed their relations in opposition to occasional objections from both Baghdad and Washington.

If the KRG declares independence, where will its oil go?

Turkey could shut off the Ceyhan Pipeline or an independent Kurdistan might be fearful of distributing through an antagonistic neighbor's territory.

Opposing the independence vote, Iraq's government has warned Erbil that it will launch a military operation "if the referendum results in violence". And we don't have to look back particularly far to find better days between the two.

She also adds that "Turkey's position on Iraqi-Kurdistan's independence is ambiguous, Despite Ankara's declarations of opposition to the referendum, Turkey can live with an independent Kurdistan in Iraq".

Describing the referendum as "a matter of national security", Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that "no one should have doubt that we will take all the necessary steps in this matter".

25 in the non-binding referendum on whether to declare independence in a region that has already been autonomous since the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War. Economic sanctions on Iraqi Kurds would be a double-edged sword, while any military action could drag Turkey into a quagmire and possibly isolate the country.

The spokeswoman acknowledged the Kurds have "legitimate grievances", but argued these would be better addressed in United States and UN-mediated talks and reiterated that the U.S. is "strongly opposed" to the referendum.

Turkish troops dug in on the country's southern border on Tuesday and turned their weapons toward Kurdish-run northern Iraq, where authorities plan an independence referendum in defiance of Ankara and Western powers.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu's offer to mediate between Arbil and Baghdad is indeed a constructive approach, but as September 25 draws closer, the cost of backing down from the referendum will escalate for Barzani. The group chose to cancel a reception and dinner hosted by Arab ambassadors and boycott the Labor party event: "Our council has made a decision to refrain from attending the Labour party conference this year due to rejection of both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Sudan's application to attend the conference".