Turkey, Iraq Threaten “Military Intervention” As Iraqi Kurds Hold Independence Referendum

Monday, September 25, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Sep 25, 2017

One day after a “Nightmare Victory” for Angela Merkel in the German elections, which has unleashed a nationalist “earthquake” in the Bundestag, on Monday in another closely watched election, polls opened in Iraq’s Kurdish-run provinces and disputed territories as Iraqi Kurds cast ballots in support for independence from Baghdad in a historic but non-binding and furiously challenged vote.

Millions are expected to vote on Monday across the three provinces that make up the Kurdish autonomous region, as well as residents in disputed territories — areas claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

The vote is being carried out despite mounting regional opposition to the move, including virtually every neighboring nation, except the odd stance by Israel whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stunned the region when he commented specifically of the referendum on Sept 13 saying, “Israel supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state.”

In an attempt to appease the vocal opposition, the prime minister of Iraq’s northern Kurdish region said the referendum doesn’t mean “redrawing borders” and will not result in immediate independence. Nechirvan Barzani says that even if the result of the vote is a “yes,” the region will resolve its disputes with Baghdad peacefully. He spoke at a press conference on Monday morning in Irabil, the Kurdish regional capital. Voting is taking place across the region and in disputed territories claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Last week, the United States joined the broader chorus, warning that the vote will likely destabilize the region amid the fight with the Islamic State group. As reported yesterday, Baghdad also came out strongly against the referendum, demanding on Sunday that all airports and borders crossings in the Kurdish region be handed back to federal government control.

On Monday, the diplomatic and economic noose around Iraqi Kurdistan tightened further when Turkey said it doesn’t recognize the Iraqi Kurdish region’s referendum on support for independence from Baghdad and insists its results will be “null and void.”

The Rest…HERE

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