Sunday, December 17, 2017
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Iraq, Turkey forces in joint drills after Kurdish vote

Iraq army and Turkish forces conduct joint military manoeuvres after divisive Kurdish referendum on Monday.

military units

Iraq's army has paired with Turkish forces to conduct joint military drills on the two nations' shared border, military officials said.

Iraqi soldiers arrived in Turkey late on Monday in the face of exercises due to be carried out on Tuesday in Habur, near Turkey's southeastern border with Iraq, a Turkish military statement said.

The joint drills come after Iraqi Kurds held a referendum on independence in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq on Monday, in defiance of the Turkish and Iraqi government. 

Tuesday's drills will conclude Turkey's military exercises in its southeastern region, which began on September 18, a week before Monday's vote.

The ballot on independence, organised by Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), is expected to return a majority "yes" vote when results are announced, which is expected to be within 72 hours.


READ MORE: Iraqi Kurds vote in controversial referendum


Masoud Barzani, president of the KRG, said he would seek talks with Baghdad on how to implement the outcome of the poll.

"If we have a constructive dialogue, then we can give it even more time, in order to secure better relations between the Kurds and Baghdad," he said on September 24.

Iraq, however, opposes the non-binding vote on the grounds that it contravenes the country's constitution.

Haider al-Abadi, Iraq's prime minister, told reporters on Monday the government would not hold talks with the KRG following the referendum.

"We are not ready to discuss or have a dialogue about the results of the referendum because it is unconstitutional," he said.


READ MORE: Iraq refuses talks with Kurds about referendum results


Turkey, which is home to an estimated 14 million Kurds, has also opposed the vote.

Ankara is concerned the referendum could encourage Turkey's own Kurdish minority population to seek autonomy.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, said in a speech on Monday that Ankara will close the Habur border crossing with northern Iraq following the plebiscite, and threatened to block Kurdish authorities from exporting oil to Turkey.

"After this, let's see through which channels the northern Iraqi regional government will send its oil, or where it will sell it," he said. "We have the tap. The moment we close the tap, then it's done."

Hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day flow through pipelines in northern Iraq's Kurdish-controlled territory into Turkey.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Syria blame game continues after fa...

Read More

Palestinian double amputee killed b...

Read More

Billionaire Sabih al-Masri detained...

Read More

Palestinians killed in protests aga...

Read More

Five key developments since Trump's...

Read More

Protests held worldwide against Jer...

Read More

Global_News

Lawyer says emails were acquired 'unlawfully', while Democrats discount argument as 'attempt to discredit Russia probe'.

Read More

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Week in Pictures

From snowfall to sunshine

Palestinians hold 'day of rage'