Turkey Warns of Global Conflict If Iraq or Syria Break Up

Saul Bowman
September 22, 2017

The United States ramped up pressure Wednesday on Iraq's Kurds to abandon a planned referendum on independence, threatening to withdraw worldwide support for negotiations with Baghdad if the vote isn't scrapped.

In early June, Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the region from Iraq on September 25.

Washington has traditionally been a friend to the Kurds, and in some parts of the region relies on Kurdish militia fighters in its wars against jihadist extremists.

Turkey, Iran, and Iraq have threatened unspecified "countermeasures" if Iraq's Kurdish leaders go ahead with a planned referendum on independence.

The United States and other Western countries have also voiced concerns and asked Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani to call off the vote, citing fears the referendum could distract attention from the fight against Islamic State militants.

"We know about the existence of four Kurdish enclaves - in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey".

If Turkey decides to impose sanctions on the Kurdistan Region because of the upcoming referendum, it will effectively align itself with the interests of those parties and groups that harbour hostile attitudes towards, it including Hashd al-Shaabi and the PKK.

The Turkish government strongly opposes the referendum for Iraqi Kurdistan's independence and initiated some massive military drills right near the southern border, warning that a disintegration of the states in the region will most likely generate a global conflict, writes Reuters.

With just a week left before polling, the court said it "has issued the order to suspend organising the referendum set for September 25. until it examines the complaints it has received over this plebiscite being unconstitutional".

Luaibi visited Tehran in July, and according to his Iranian counterpart, Bijan Zanganeh, the two countries concluded agreements to construct pipelines to export crude oil from the hotly disputed, oil-rich province of Kirkuk to Iran.

The US and United Kingdom have objected to the referendum.

Turkey's position on Iraqi-Kurdistan's independence is ambiguous, Despite Ankara's declarations of opposition to the referendum, Turkey can live with an independent Kurdistan in Iraq.

Military manpower supported by both Iran and Shiite forces have already established their presence outside Kirkuk city. Turkey's strong economic ties to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) will weigh on any response from Ankara.

They also said the referendum would put Iraq's hard-earned gains against Islamic State jihadists "under great risk".

In other words, if any one of them votes against the Kurds' separation from Iraq, the application will rejected.

On Friday, the Kurdish Parliament unanimously ratified the referendum amid pro-independence rallies across the region.

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