President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) will be held to account for holding a referendum on whether to secede from Iraq at a consultation meeting on Saturday in Turkey’s eastern province Erzurum.
“We have never regretted what we have done in the past. We have provided all kinds of support for an extended period of time,” said Erdoğan.
“But now that the circumstances have changed, the northern Iraqi local government has taken a step in spite of my country, and will pay the price,” he continued.
KRG is ‘solely responsible’ for what’s to come: PM Yıldırım
“Our Kurdish brothers are not the only ones who live there, there are many ethnic groups who live together. The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is the sole one responsible for what will follow, because they acted stubbornly without taking into consideration other groups who live in the region and played with fire in order to gain political prosperity,” Yıldırım said on Saturday in Turkey’s western district İzmit.“Everyone must know that a status change on the southern borders of Turkey, an attempt to form an artificial state is a matter of Turkey’s national security. Turkey will not hesitate to take action and will use all of its bilateral and international rights, when it comes to the matter of national security,” he added.The KRG referendum held on Monday in northern Iraq faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors, many of whom had warned that the poll would further destabilize the Middle East.US does not recognize KRG's independence poll“All our future relations with the region will be governed by the Iraqi central government, namely Baghdad. Iran, Iraq and Turkey are working in coordination to defeat the games being played in the region,” Yıldırım said.The poll has been denounced by Iraq and its neighbors, who view it as illegitimate.“It is not possible to conduct an operation in this region without Turkey. In the same way that we delivered the necessary answer with the Operation Euphrates Shield, when the appropriate conditions and foundations have formed, we will give the same response. There should be no doubt about this,” Yıldırım said.Illegitimate KRG poll referred to lands in N Iraq, Turkey, Iran and SyriaThe premier also commented on the third legislative session of parliament to be held on Sunday.“The parliament is convening tomorrow, and we would like for a sense of unity and solidarity to spread across the country. We need unison, not ideologies,” he said.The Turkish parliament will begin its third legislative session on Sunday with the speech of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.The General Assembly is set to reconvene on Tuesday to continue its legislative work after political parties' parliamentary group meetings.The parliament has been in recess since July 27.Turkish parliament to convene SundayTurkey to help its citizens leave Iraqi Kurdish regionSteps against KRG will not target civilians: Turkish PMIraq blocks international flights to KRG in retaliation for independence vote
Turkey has said that it could cut off the KRG’s oil export pipeline, which runs through Turkish territory. Iran has banned the transportation of refined crude oil products by Iranian companies to and from the KRG.
“Our only expectation was that they respect our territorial lines and not take steps despite us. They did not do this. Kirkuk is a controversial area, and they are claiming to own Kirkuk. You are not a part of Kirkuk’s history,” Erdoğan said. Oil-rich Kirkuk is ethnically mixed.
The United States, major European countries and nearby Turkey and Iran opposed the referendum as destabilizing at a time when all sides are still fighting Daesh.
Iranian, Iraqi government forces to hold joint border drills
Iran’s state television announced that it will be conducting a joint military with central Iraqi government near the border.A military spokesman said the two countries decided to hold the drills during a meeting of Iranian military commenders who "agreed on measures to establish border security and receive Iraqi forces that are to be stationed at border posts."Iraq, Turkey and Iran continue to cooperate against Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) as President Masoud Barzani’s illegitimate referendum attempt has jeopardized Iraq’s territorial integrity.Kurdish region urges Iraq, UN to lift air embargoThe KRG referendum held on Monday in northern Iraq faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors, many of whom had warned that the poll would further destabilize the Middle East.Turkey’s military drills were initiated in the early hours of Sept. 18, a week before the KRG independence referendum.Iraqi soldiers arrived in Turkey on Monday evening for joint military exercises due to be carried out on Tuesday in Habur.Flight ban enters effect in Iraq’s Erbil, SulaymaniyahUS does not recognize KRG's independence poll
Flight ban enters effect in Iraq’s Erbil, Sulaymaniyah
A flight ban came into effect on Friday evening at the Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region.Earlier Friday, Talar Faiq, director of Erbil’s international airport, had announced that all international flights into the Kurdish region would be suspended as of 6 p.m. local time.Exceptions would be made for military, diplomatic and UN-affiliated flights, he added.U.S.-led coalition forces frequently use the Erbil airport for military purposes, while the UN uses both the Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports to dispatch humanitarian aid to war-torn areas of Iraq.Friday’s flight ban comes as a response by the Iraqi government to Monday’s illegitimate referendum on Kurdish regional independence.“International flights will be suspended based on the demands of Iraq’s Civil Aviation Authority,” Faiq told reporters at a press conference held in Erbil. He added, however, that the airport’s administration had yet to be officially notified of the ban by the Iraqi authorities.“This flight ban won’t only harm the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), but all of Iraq,” Faiq asserted, calling on Baghdad to reverse the decision. Monday’s illegitimate referendum in northern Iraq had faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors, many of whom had warned that the poll would further destabilize the Middle East.According to figures released by the KRG (of which Erbil serves as administrative capital), almost 93 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of independence from Baghdad.
US opens new military base in Iraq’s Nineveh province
The U.S. has built a new military base in the Makhmour district of Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, according to a high-ranking Peshmerga officer.“U.S. forces are transferring supplies from the Qayara Base [near Mosul] to the new base to support forces now fighting to retake Kirkuk’s Hawija district from Daesh,” Jamal Iminiki, chief-of-staff of Kurdish Peshmerga forces (which answer to northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government), told Anadolu Agency. The new U.S. base in Makhmour, Iminiki explained, was built expressly to provide support to Iraqi troops and Peshmerga fighters currently fighting the terrorist group in Kirkuk.Nineveh’s Makhmour district is located roughly 40 kilometers southwest of Erbil, the KRG’s administrative capital.In March of last year, the U.S. opened the Qayara Base to support a wide-ranging Iraqi army assault on Mosul, which was recaptured from Daesh earlier this year.
US does not recognize KRG's independence poll
The U.S. does not recognize the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) quot;unilateral referendumquot; on independence from Iraq, the State Department said Friday.quot;The vote and the results lack legitimacy and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq,quot; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.Tillerson said the U.S. remains concerned about the fallout from the poll in which Kurds overwhelmingly voted to leave Iraq, emphasizing that before the vote Washington worked with Erbil and Baghdad quot;to pursue a more productive framework and to promote stability and prosperity for the people of the Kurdistan region.quot;These aspirations, ultimately, cannot be advanced through unilateral measures such as this referendum,quot; he said.The poll has been denounced by Iraq and its neighbors, who view it as illegitimate, and Baghdad has moved to ban international flights into the KRG and close foreign missions in the Kurdish region.Earlier Friday, Talar Faiq, director of Erbil’s international airport, announced all international flights into the Kurdish region would be suspended as of 6 p.m. local time (2100GMT).Exceptions would be made for military, diplomatic and UN-affiliated flights.U.S.-led coalition forces frequently use the Erbil airport for military purposes, while the UN uses both the Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports to dispatch humanitarian aid to war-torn areas of Iraq.In addressing the ongoing diplomatic row, Tillerson urged the parties to halt quot;vocal recriminations and threats of reciprocal actionsquot;, and pursue dialogue.quot;We urge Iraqi Kurdish authorities to respect the constitutionally-mandated role of the central government and we call upon the central government to reject threats or even allusion to possible use of force,quot; he said.quot;The fight against Daesh is not over, and extremist groups are seeking to exploit instability and discord. We urge our Iraqi partners to remain focused on defeating Daesh,quot; he added.According to figures released by the KRG, almost 93 percent of voters cast ballots Monday in favor of independence from Baghdad.