Iraq parliament demands troops go to areas disputed with Kurds

Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region kicked off an independence referendum on Monday in the face of strong objections from the central government in Baghdad and urgent calls from the worldwide community to scrap the vote.

The curfew was announced in statement from the Kurdish-led governorate of the northern Iraqi city.

Against this backdrop, Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, expressed concern on Monday about the potentially destabilising effects of the referendum, calling on Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to resolve differences through dialogue and compromise. "We don't want to destabilise Iraq or Kurdistan. but certainly our aim is an independent Iraqi Kurdistan in the near future". "The moment we shut the valve, that's the end of it", Erdogan said.

Iran has a large Kurdish minority around its Iraqi border, some of whom have called for independence.


"At the request of the Iraqi government, we have closed our land and air borders", he said.

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

However, the Iraqi government has called the referendum unconstitutional.

Iran announced a ban on direct flights to and from Kurdistan on Sunday, while Baghdad asked foreign countries to stop direct oil trading with the Kurdish region and demanded that the KRG hand over control of its global airports and border posts with Iran, Turkey and Syria.


The Habur border crossing, which sits to the north of the Syrian and Iraqi borders, provides the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq with its main access point to the outside world.

The integrity of Iraq is highly important for Iran, Rouhani said, adding that the security of his country and the region is, to a significant degree, depends on this factor.

Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said he hoped to maintain good relations with Turkey and the referendum was not a threat to Ankara. Counter-terrorism operations targeting the PKK on the Turkish side of the border are ongoing, the statement said.

KRG leader Masoud Barzani, however, said a "Yes" vote would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.



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