Kurdish State in the making news & updates | World Defense

Kurdish State in the making news & updates

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Iraqi Kurdistan votes in independence referendum


Media captionVoters get to say Yes or No to independence
People have voted in a landmark referendum on independence for the Kurdistan region of Iraq, a move which has been criticised by foreign powers.
Polling took place in the three provinces that make up the region, as well as disputed areas claimed by the Kurds and the government in Baghdad.
Iraq's prime minister denounced the referendum as "unconstitutional".
Kurdish leaders said an expected "yes" vote would give them a mandate to start lengthy negotiations on secession.
Kurds are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East but they have never obtained a permanent nation state.
In Iraq, where they make up an estimated 15% to 20% of the population of 37 million, Kurds faced decades of repression before acquiring autonomy in 1991.
The referendum passed off peacefully, and turnout was estimated at about 76%.
But as voting ended on Monday night, a curfew was imposed in the disputed city of Kirkuk amid fears of unrest.

Voting was open to some 5.2 million Kurds and non-Kurds aged 18 registered as resident in Kurdish-controlled areas.
"We have been waiting 100 years for this day," one man queuing to vote at a school in the regional capital, Irbil, told Reuters news agency on Monday morning.
"We want to have a state, with God's help. Today is a celebration for all Kurds."
A historic moment
By Orla Guerin, BBC News, Irbil
At polling stations here there was a sense of history in the making. Some began queuing last night. The Kurds say the referendum is an example of democracy in action. Instead of opposing them, they believe that Western powers should be giving them strong support.
A man in his 60s, in traditional dress, told us people had been counting the months, days and minutes until they could cast their ballots. "It is the proudest moment of my life," he said.
Image copyrightTONY BROWN
Some came to vote carrying pictures of loved ones killed battling so-called Islamic State (IS).
"My husband's blood wasn't shed for nothing" said one woman, adding that her family had not slept for days, worrying that the referendum would be cancelled.
Whatever comes next this vote could reshape the Middle East. That's just what neighbouring states - with their own Kurdish minorities - fear.
Iraqi Kurdish referendum: What is at stake?
Not all Kurds were expected to vote "yes", though.
The Change Movement (Gorran) and Kurdistan Islamic Group parties said they supported independence but objected to the timing and organisation of the referendum, while businessman Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir launched a "No4Now" campaign because of the economic and political risks of secession.
And in Kirkuk, the local ethnic Arab and Turkmen communities called for a boycott.

Media captionKexit? Iraqi Kurdistan referendum explained - by the voters themselves
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned on Sunday that the referendum "threatens Iraq, peaceful co-existence among Iraqis, and is a danger to the region", and vowed to "take measures to safeguard the nation's unity and protect all Iraqis".
Late on Monday Iraqi and Turkish officials announced they would hold joint military drills in Turkey in an area bordering the Kurdish region of Iraq.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the vote as "unacceptable", and threatened to close his country's sole border crossing and the Iraqi Kurds' vital oil export pipeline.
Iran called the vote "illegal", having banned all flights to and from the Kurdistan Region a day earlier.
UN Secretary General António Guterres expressed concern about the "potentially destabilising effects" of the vote.
Celebratory mood
By Sally Nabil, BBC News, Kirkuk
Kirkuk's population is largely a mix of Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds, but only the Kurds were casting their ballots because other ethnic groups are boycotting it.
Security was quite heavy outside the polling stations as a result of the clashes seen in the city in recent days, but inside people seemed relaxed and proud.
Image copyrightREUTERSImage captionKurds danced on the streets of Kirkuk, a city also claimed by the central government
Many were holding Kurdish flags, sweets were being handed out to celebrate, and some children were dressed in traditional Kurdish costumes.
"When I go to Baghdad I feel like a second-class citizen, I don't feel like I belong there," another voter told me. "Now it is time for us to have our own state."
The UN Security Council warned on Thursday that the vote could hamper the fight against IS in Iraq, in which Kurdish forces have played a critical role, and efforts to ensure the return of three million displaced Iraqis.
But Kurdistan Regional President Massoud Barzani accused the international community of having double standards.

Massoud Barzani during a BBC interview
Exit playerMedia captionMassoud Barzani during a BBC interview
"Asking our people to vote in a peaceful way is not a crime," he said on Sunday. "If democracy is bad for us, why isn't it bad for everyone else?"
Mr Barzani said the referendum would not draw borders, and that afterwards there could be talks with Baghdad for a year or two. But he stressed that the "failed partnership" with the "theocratic, sectarian state" of Iraq was over.
 

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Turkey already threaten countermeasures. Iran also is pissed off. I remember Erdogan lecturing us about Islamic values and how they are going against boycotting Qatar and now threatening Kurdistan of imposing sanctions. What happened to the Islamic values? Disappeared all of the sudden.§§•
 

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Iraq, Turkey Threaten Kurdistan’s Oil Boom After Controversial Independence Vote


Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence referendum Monday has returned its renegade oil industry to the spotlight, prompting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to threaten to cut off the region’s petroleum exports and Baghdad to call for a de facto boycott of Kurdish crude.
Kurdistan has built up an independent oil sector against the odds, defying Iraq’s central government in Baghdad, which claims control over the country’s crude revenue. The result is an industry that accounts for 80% of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s...
 

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Kurdistan is surrounded by Iraq, Turkey and Iran and in a case of an embargo/blockade/siege Kurdistan won't be able to survive unless the other countries in the region decided to launch air bridges for trade and supplies. Kurdistan on the other hand can cause headache to the said countries like for example pushing for Kurds right of self determination. If Syria gets rid of Assad the Kurds can reach out to the rest of the region.
 

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Its going to stair havoc in the region but the Kurds deserve their own country why they not?
 

Mootaz24

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Its going to stair havoc in the region but the Kurds deserve their own country why they not?
because they are friendly with israel my friend and 2 their independence mean Iraq lose big land and as Arabs we won't allow that

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because they are friendly with israel my friend and 2 their independence mean Iraq lose big land and as Arabs we won't allow that

Iraqis shias took power and brought it upon themselves with their one-sided exclusion policy. Same with Turkey and Iran. Turkey use to be a good player in the region and now siding with Qatar against other powers in the region like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE. What I find amusing is that Turkey is imposing harsh policy against Kurdistan but calling the policies implemented by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain against Qatar unIslamic. LOL

If Kurdistan Iraq got independent Kurds in Iran and Turkey will follow suit. I don't want to see Iraq split but if it happened I wont be feeling sad either.
 

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Iraq halts international flights to Kurdistan Region
  • 29 September 2017


Media captionPassengers in Irbil give their views on the flight ban
Iraq's central government has suspended international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region, as pressure mounts after Monday's independence referendum.

Baghdad had said only domestic flights would be allowed from 18:00 (15:00 GMT) on Friday unless the Kurds handed over control of Irbil and Sulaimaniya airports.

Humanitarian, military and diplomatic flights are also reported to be exempt.

The Kurdistan government refused Baghdad's demand, calling it "illegal".

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi wants the referendum, in which 92% of voters backed secession, to be annulled.

Kurdish leaders insist the referendum was legitimate and that they now have a mandate to start negotiations with Baghdad and neighbouring countries.

Why is Baghdad restricting flights?
Kurds are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East but they have never obtained a permanent nation state.

In Iraq, where they make up an estimated 15-20% of the population of 37 million, Kurds faced decades of repression before acquiring autonomy in 1991.

Image copyrightAFPImage captionRegional carriers said they would suspend flights to the Kurdistan Region at Baghdad's request
On Wednesday, Kurdish officials said 2.8 million people living in the three provinces that form the Kurdistan Region, as well as "areas of Kurdistan outside the region's administration", had voted in favour of independence.

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

Mr Abadi vowed to "impose Iraq's rule" and reaffirmed his threat to stop direct international flights to and from the Kurdistan Region.

What do the Kurds say?
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Thursday that a ban would be "completely illegal" and amount to "collective punishment against the Kurds".


Officials said the airports were already subject to the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority and that any restrictions would affect the battle against so-called Islamic State (IS).

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have driven the jihadist group out of large parts of northern Iraq since 2014 with air and ground support from a US-led coalition.

"We have an international community here, so this is not going to be only against Kurdish people," Irbil airport's director, Talar Faiq Salih, told the BBC on Thursday.

Image copyrightREUTERSImage captionActivists at the airport released balloons bearing messages that urged peace with Baghdad
She later told reporters that humanitarian, military and diplomatic flights were exempt from the ban.

However, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Turkish Airlines and other carriers said they would suspend flights at Baghdad's request.

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 currently controlled by Kurdish forces.

How have Iraq's neighbours reacted?
Turkey and Iran, which have Kurdish minorities and are fiercely opposed to Iraqi Kurds gaining independence, have also increased the pressure on the KRG.

Mr Abadi's office said on Thursday that Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had agreed to deal exclusively with the central government over crude oil exports. That could result in a key pipeline from the Kirkuk region, which provides the KRG with more than 80% of its income, being cut off.



Media captionIraq's Kurdish region foreign affairs minister says independence is 'inevitable'
On Friday, Iran banned the transportation of refined crude oil products by Iranian companies to and from the Kurdistan Region, the Tasnim news agency reported.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Irbil says dialogue is the likely way out of this impasse.

But with Iraq facing elections in April, our correspondent adds, there is pressure in Baghdad to remain firm and as yet no sign of compromise.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday that Washington did not recognise the referendum.

"We encourage all sides to engage constructively in a dialogue to improve the future of all Iraqis," he added.
 

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Iraqi PM presses case for Baghdad to receive Kurdistan oil revenue
Reuters Staff

2 MIN READ

A still image taken from a video shows Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi speaking as he makes a statement in Baghdad, Iraq September 24, 2017. REUTERS/via Reuters TV

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday pressed the case for the central government in Baghdad to receive the income from Kurdistan’s oilfields, saying the money would be used to pay Kurdish civil servants.

Seeking to control the oil income from the autonomous Kurdish region is central to Abadi’s strategy after the Kurdish referendum on independence held on Monday.

The Kurdistan Regional Government said it plans to use the vote, which delivered an overwhelming yes for independence, as a mandate to seek the peaceful secession of the Kurdish region through talks with Abadi’s government.

Abadi, who rejects any talks with the Kurds on independence, wrote in a tweet: “Federal government control of oil revenues is in order to pay KR (Kurdistan Region) employee salaries in full.”

No other statement was forthcoming from the government. It was not clear whether Baghdad had had any success in taking control of oil income from the Kurdish region in the north of Iraq, which for years has kept oil revenue and paid Kurdish civil servants.

Abadi on Thursday said Turkey had told Iraq it would deal

only with the Iraqi government on crude oil exports. Iraqi Kurdish crude oil is exported to world markets through a pipeline to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Baghdad imposed a ban on direct international flights to the Kurdish region on Friday.
 

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Turkey raises oil threat after Iraqi Kurds' referendum
Most oil that flows through a pipeline from Iraq to Turkey comes from Kurdish sources and a cut-off would damaging.

Turkey has ramped up its criticism of the KRG after Monday's referendum on independence [File: Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters]
Turkey has threatened potentially crippling restrictions on oil trading with Iraqi Kurdsafter they backed independence from Baghdad in a referendum that has alarmed Ankara as it faces a separatist insurgency from its Kurdish minority.

Most oil that flows through a pipeline from Iraq to Turkey comes from Kurdish sources, and stopping that would severely damage the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), which relies on sales of crude for almost all its hard currency revenues.

Iraq's Kurds endorsed secession by nine to one in a vote on Monday that has angered Turkey, the central government in Baghdad, and other regional and world powers who fear the referendum could lead to renewed conflict in the region.

READ MORE: Iraqi PM Abadi - We will impose our authority all over Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said on Thursday he had been told by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in a call that Turkey would break with past practice and deal only with the Baghdad government over oil exports from Iraq.

WATCH: Iraq - 92% of Kurds vote in favour of secession, KRG rejects Baghdad demands (01:45)

So far the pipeline is operating normally despite Turkish threats to impose economic sanctions on the Kurdish autonomous region in Iraq. Turkish officials, however, have ramped up pressure on the Kurds.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogansaid after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin the Kurdish government "made a big mistake by holding the referendum" and must be prevented from "bigger mistakes".

He said Turkey and Russia agreed the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria must be preserved.

Yildirim said separately that Turkey would respond harshly to any security threat on its border after the referendum, although that was not its first choice.

Yildirim also said he agreed with al-Abadi to coordinate economic and trade relations with the central government in Baghdad. He said Turkey, Iran, and Iraq might meet to discuss the referendum.

Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdag said Turkish armed forces would stop training Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces, who protected oil fields from capture by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

With the region's largest Kurdish population, Turkey has been battling a three-decade insurgency in its largely Kurdish southeast and fears the referendum will inflame separatist tensions at home.

The United Nations offered on Thursday to help solve the problem between the KRG and Baghdad, the Iraqi foreign ministry said following a meeting between Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari and Jan Kubis, the top UN envoy in Iraq.

The United States was willing, if asked, to help facilitate talks to try to ease tensions between the two sides, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
 

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Turkey airlines to halt Kurdistan flights by Friday
Ari Khalidi |

September 27-2017 06:46 PM

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Undated picture shows a general view of the Erbil International Airport, Erbil, Kurdistan Region. (Photo: EIA)

Erbil Sulaimania Travel Airtravel KurdistanReferendum
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ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - Turkish Consulate General in Kurdistan Region's capital of Erbil announced on Wednesday that all Turkish airlines flying in and out of the region were to suspend their operations before the weekend.

Turkish halting of air travel with Erbil comes as the people of Kurdistan voted with 92 percent of approval in a Monday referendum on whether or not to secede from Iraq.

Turkish flights inbound and outbound the two international airports in the Kurdish cities of Erbil and Sulaimania were set to stop at 18:00 local time on Friday.

In a travel warning online the consulate said the decision by the Turkish Airlines, AtlasGlobal, and Pegasus air transport services was taken in line with the federal Iraqi authorities' flight ban on Kurdistan Region.

Ankara officials were working to increase the number and capacity of flights between Kurdistan and Turkey as needed before the Friday deadline.

The consulate warned Turkish citizens, numbering in tens of thousands, a majority of them ethnic Kurds resident in Kurdistan, to review their travel plans.

The move for Kurdish statehood has drawn Turkish and Iranian ire, with fiery statements and threats of economic, diplomatic sanctions if not military action.




A woman holds Kurdistan flag during a rally in the Syrian Kurdish city of Qamishli in support of her kins' referendum in Kurdistan Region on independence from Iraq, Sept 26, 2017. (AFP)


Both Tehran and Ankara are fearful of similar demands of political recognition and territorial autonomy by their restive millions-strong Kurdish populations.

Iran imposed its air embargo a day before Kurdistan's independence referendum, also opposed by Kurds' Western allies, such as the US and UK.

Iraqi General Directorate of Civil Aviation announced the ban after Kurdish authorities' refusal to hand over the control of the airports, and border crossings to the Baghdad government, a key demand by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

The US State Department on Tuesday criticized Abadi's ultimatum, calling for constructive engagement and dialogue with Kurdistan.
 

Mootaz24

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If Kurd declared themselves an independent state they would find themselves in war with 3 nations ( Iraq / Turkey and Iran) with Arab blessing ( all Arab Leaders and ppl are against Kurds movement )
 

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If Kurd declared themselves an independent state they would find themselves in war with 3 nations ( Iraq / Turkey and Iran) with Arab blessing ( all Arab Leaders and ppl are against Kurds movement )
I dont think Arabs are willing to do anything in regard to the Kurdish issue. In fact country like the UAE might support the kurds right of self-determination. Turkey played it wrong by siding with Qatar and with this stance Arabs might take an opposing action in tit for tat kind of policy. On the other hand, I think Saudi Arabia will stand strongly for the unity of Iraq and might play a major role inside the international arena. Not to mention that Saudi Arabia has put some kurdish related armed organizations on the terror list. Its a bit complicated and if shit hits the fan say hi to a new major conflict in the ME and cycle will keep on going. Azari might claim self determination or joining azerbaijan, Baluch in Iran and along the border with Pakistan might also declare self government. Kurds of Iran, Syria and Turkey might join hands in hands. Arabs of Ahwaz might also seek independence. That is why you see Turkey/Iran collaboration in this issue. Pakistan might join in as well.
 

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Morocco , Algeria , Tunisia , Egypt , KSA , Jordan ( i think ) , Syria , Iraq , Qatar don't support kurds this what i know maybe more
 

Scorpion

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Morocco , Algeria , Tunisia , Egypt , KSA , Jordan ( i think ) , Syria , Iraq , Qatar don't support kurds this what i know maybe more
No one has taken any position so far. They might discuss it in the upcoming Arab League conference.
 
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