The U.S. while releasing statements that it is against the non-binding independence referendum the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) plans to hold on Sept. 25, has deployed 1,700 troops to occupy Kirkuk, Iraq. The specially trained soldiers deployed in Erbil will work against the prevention of the referendum in Kirkuk. There are still 14,000 Peshmerga troops working for KRG President Masoud Barzani and former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Iraq’s oil center, Kirkuk. The United States’ occupation of Kirkuk is interpreted as preparing the region for an independent state which will be declared after the referendum.
US READY TO DEPLOY 3,000 TROOPS
The United States is to dispatch a force of 3,000 troops in the region in a couple of days, according to local sources. Hazim Devlet, Kirkuk representative of Iraqi Turkmen Front, evaluates the Sept. 25 referendum as only one stage of the process. He noted that after the referendum the independence file will be used as a means of blackmail, and that until Barzani concedes the U.S. and Israel will fulfill his every demand.
US, Israel involved in dirty deals prior to KRG referendum
The dirty negotiations continue before the referendum on independence under the leadership of Barzani scheduled for Sept. 25 in northern Iraq. Brett McGurk and representatives from Western countries are continuing to support Barzani, who wants to turn this period into an oppurtunity.Kirkuk deputy Hasan Turan said that the negotiation process was directed by the U.S. and Western countries, adding that a delegation from these nations wanted to provide 20 residential units in the debated region to Barzani as a bribe in 2003.Erdoğan urges Iraqi Kurds to suspend referendumLATEST MEETING WAS IN SULAYMANIYAHThe latest meeting between Iraq and referendum supporters before the poll was in Sulaymaniyah. The meeting was attended by Iraqi President Fuad Masum and Hero Ibrahim Ehmed, who respresented Masoud Barzani and Celal Talabani.At the Sulaymaniyah meeting, President Fuad Masum conveyed the request of the Iraqi central government to abandon Barzani's referendum.Iraqi Parliamentarian Turan said Barzani, who is managing this period with foreign forces, and Talabani were offered 20 settlement areas that belong mostly to the Turkmens and over 10,000 kilometers of land as bribery.Kurd region delegation to visit Baghdad before pollIRAQI PUBLIC SHOULD DECIDE“Negotiations regarding the terror corridor, which is supported by the U.S., Israel and European countries, are administrated by the U.S.,” said Turan.“Tens of thousands of square kilometers and tens of regions are being sacrificed. The fate of our region should be decided by the public,” he added.Turan claimed that Barzani’s tactics and strategies were managed by foreign powers.Russia supports Iraq’s territorial integrityCLAIMS TO LAND FROM THREE COUNTRIESTuran also said that the referendum, initiated by Barzani, was a trap, and emphasized that 16 districts of Mosul, Kirkuk, Tuzhurmatu, Mendeli, Jelavlak, Karatepe, Diyala and Hanekin could be presented to Barzani as a bribe.The regions presented to Barzani through U.S. and Israeli referendum blackmail consist of up to 70 percent Turkmen settlements.Saudi Arabia says hopes KRG vote will not take placeTurkish military shares new photographs of drills near Iraqi borderKurd chief open to ‘alternate arrangement’ with BaghdadKurdish referendum to breed 'new crises', Erdoğan warns
U.S. Special Forces members deployed in six residential areas, particularly Kirkuk, will be provided with sophisticated weapons and armored vehicles. For the occupation of Kirkuk, the U.S. has sent a total of 13 containers of arms and ammunition to the region.
FSA rejects US offer
The U.S requested that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) fight alongside the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization in the Deir el-Zor operation. The FSA groups rejected this request.
FSA-affiliated Maghawir al-Sawra group's spokesperson Muhammad Jarrah stated that the PKK and Daesh were the two poles boosted that kept the Assad regime, which crippled the Syrian revolution, standing.
Additionally, Jaysh Usud al-Sharqiya spokesperson Saed el-Hajj said that the PKK and the regime were from the same group. “Forcing the FSA to cooperate with the PKK aims to break the opposition’s fronts.”
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.The PKK has been conducting armed violence in the southeastern part of Turkey since 1984. More than 40,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the three-decade long conflict.
Turkish security body, cabinet to discuss Kurdish poll
Turkey’s National Security Council and cabinet will meet separately on Friday to discuss the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) plans to unilaterally hold a referendum next week.The meetings will be held at the Presidential Complex in Ankara at 3 p.m. local time (1200GMT) and 6 p.m. (1500GMT) respectively, according to the Turkish presidency.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the cabinet will discuss the planned referendum and possible sanctions against the KRG.Turkey’s armed forces are also continuing military exercises close to Iraqi border which began on Monday.Turkish MPs to debate military operation in Iraq, SyriaThe KRG's plan to hold a referendum on independence from Iraq has been met with overwhelming discouragement from world leaders.The U.S. has said it "strongly opposes" it, and pointed to the "high" cost of the referendum for "all Iraqis, including Kurds".Erdogan has said Ankara would respond with sanctions if next week's referendum went ahead. Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump later agreed on Thursday that the vote should not go ahead, according to a statement by the Turkish presidency on their bilateral meeting in New York.French President Emmanuel Macron has asked KRG President Masoud Barzani to delay the poll.Residents in provinces controlled by the KRG are scheduled to vote Sept. 25 on independence from Baghdad.The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is among the contested areas where the vote is planned.
Turkish MPs to debate military operation in Iraq, Syria
The parliament will hold an extraordinary session on Saturday to debate the extension of Turkish military’s operation in northern Iraq and Syria, according to ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group deputy chairman."The general assembly of Turkish Parliament will hold an extraordinary session on Sept. 23 at 1600 [4 p.m. local time] to debate the extension of Prime Ministry’s motion that enables the government to conduct cross-border operations in northern Iraq and Syria," Mustafa Elitas said.The motion had previously allowed the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations from Oct. 2, 2016 until Oct. 31, 2017.The deputies would either debate the extension of the same motion or they would bring a new motion enabling the Turkish army to conduct a cross-border operation in northern Iraq and Syria.The opposition Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) parliamentary deputy group chairman told Anadolu Agency that his party will support the motion."The MHP will vote Yes to the motion with all its deputies," Erkan Akcay said, adding that this would be a strong voice form the parliament against the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)'s agenda to hold a referendum on independence.The decision to hold Turkish parliament's extraordinary session came after the KRG refused to cancel the planned referendum on Sept. 25.The non-binding referendum will see residents of Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq vote on full independence from Baghdad.The U.S. and UN have also spoken out against the poll, saying it would distract from operations against Daesh and lead to greater regional instability.Baghdad has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote results in violence. KRG President Masoud Barzani has said a Yes vote would not mean a declaration of independence but would lead to negotiations with the Iraqi government.
UN Security Council opposes Kurdish referendum
The United Nations Security Council late Thursday warned against the "potentially destabilizing impact" of the Kurdish Regional Government's plans to unilaterally hold a referendum next week.The referendum risks detracting from the fight against Daesh, the statement by the Council noted, and it could also disrupt efforts to ensure the safe return of over three million refugees and internally displaced persons to the country.Council members "expressed their continuing respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of Iraq", urging all issues between the central Baghdad government and the Erbil administration to be resolved "through structured dialogue and compromise supported by the international community."The KRG's plan to hold the referendum has been met with overwhelming discouragement from world leaders. The U.S. has said it "strongly opposes" it, and pointed to the "high" cost of the referendum for "all Iraqis, including Kurds".Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara would respond with sanctions if next week's referendum went ahead. Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump later agreed Thursday that the vote should not go ahead, according to a press release by the Turkish presidency on their bilateral meeting in New York.French President Emmanuel Macron asked KRG President Masoud Barzani over the phone to delay the poll.Residents in provinces controlled by the KRG are scheduled to vote Sept. 25 on independence from Baghdad.The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is among the contested areas where the vote is planned.