nsucurrent.com February 18, 2018

Kurdish delegation goes to Baghdad ahead of vote

24 September 2017, 12:30 | Colleen Roy

Turkish troops conduct military exercises near along its border with Iraq near the Habur Border Gate

Turkish troops conduct military exercises near along its border with Iraq near the Habur Border Gate

Tehran-backed paramilitaries have conducted attacks on supporters of the Kurdish referendum in areas outside the KRG, especially in villages where the local council has voted to join in the vote.

The president of Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, said Wednesday he had not yet received any offers from the government in Baghdad that could induce him to forgo the referendum on independence.

Sending oil north through Turkey, trade relations for the Kurdish north of Iraq could be hurt through a vote for independence, the U.S. State Department said.

And they have forged impressive fighting forces - the peshmerga in Iraq and the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria - that have been most effective in taking on the reactionary Islamic State in both countries.

The KRG has said the vote is meant to give its autonomous territory a legitimate mandate to achieve independence from Iraq through dialogue with Baghdad and neighboring powers Turkey and Iran.

"If the referendum is not cancelled there will be serious consequences".

"We have tried a lot with all parties to reach a solution to the problems and abide by the constitution, but they did not accept the partnership", he said.

On Monday, the Turkish army launched a highly visible military drill near the Habur border crossing, which military sources said was due to last until September 26, a day after the planned referendum.

A statement issued after a three hour-long National Security Council meeting on Friday that was chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would exert its rights should Iraqi Kurds go ahead with the referendum despite Turkey's "warnings".

The Turkish parliament convened for a debate and vote on extending a mandate that authorizes Turkish troop deployments to Iraq and Syria, and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim alluded to possible military moves.

The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is among the contested areas where the vote is planned.

Saying that the referendum lacks global legitimacy, Yilmaz called on KRG President Masoud Barzani to cancel it. "It will both evaluate this and put forth their own stance on what kind of sanctions we can impose, or if we will, but these will not be ordinary", Erdogan was quoted by Anadolu as saying.

Iraq's central government previously threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.

The UN Security Council's vote is meant to reflect fears of nations across the world that, if the right to self-determination becomes commonplace, they'll lose territory.

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