undergroundnewsroom.com March 20, 2018

Regional Powers Move to Restrict Kurds Following Referendum Vote

02 October 2017, 01:01 | Damon Campbell

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The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has refused to hand over control of its border crossings to the Iraqi government, as demanded by Iraq, Iran and Turkey in retaliation for the referendum.

The statement did not give more detail or indicate specifically whether Iraqi forces were planning to move toward the external border posts controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from the Iranian and Turkish side.

The announcement came despite a last-minute appeal for the result to be "cancelled" from Mr Abadi, who said the referendum was "unconstitutional".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Saturday that Iraqi Kurdish authorities would "pay the price" for the independence referendum, which Turkey strongly opposed.

Turkey has repeatedly threatened to impose economic sanction, effectively cutting their main access to global markets, and has held joint military exercises with Iraqi troops on the border.

The KRG also vowed to take legal measures to counter recent decisions by the Iraqi parliament, which on Wednesday asked Mr Abadi to send troops to the oil-rich Kirkuk region and other disputed areas now controlled by Kurdish forces.

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The United States does not recognize the independence referendum held this week in Iraqi Kurdistan, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday.

Baghdad has demanded the annulment of Monday's non- binding referendum, which resulted in a huge "yes" vote, and has suspended worldwide flights to and from the region.

The neighbouring countries such as Turkey and Iran have also said that they are ready to help Baghdad carry out those measures.

Tehran does not recognise the independence vote and has been increasing pressure on the Kurdistan region after the referendum.

The border crossings between Iran and northern Iraq are, in fact, held alongside iraqi forces kurds.

The French president "stressed the importance of preserving unity and Iraqi integrity while recognising the rights of the Kurdish people", while also emphasising that the country should focus on stability while battling the Islamic State group.

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