US Does Not Recognize Kurdish Independence Vote in Iraq

Saul Bowman
October 3, 2017

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency is reporting that Iranian and Iraqi armed forces have held a joint military drill near the global borders of Iraq's northern Kurdish region. "Iraqi forces are dressed in black", he said, referring to the black uniforms of the country's elite Counter Terrorism Service.

Hezbollah fighters are now fighting along with other Iran-backed militias and the Syrian army against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters in eastern Syria.

Speaking at a press briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said the referendum held on 25th September violated the Iraqi constitution and therefore lacks any legitimacy.

Baghdad declared the ballot illegal and suspended flights in retaliation.

The communiqué said Pakistan fully supports Iraq's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The vote was held across the autonomous Kurdish region's three provinces as well as in some disputed territories controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad.

The Saturday meeting was held three days after the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces and his Iraqi counterpart Major General Othman al-Ghanmi held talks in Tehran.

What's not clear is where Kurdistan is going, as Iraq is vowing to bring the region back under direct rule, and Turkey and Iran are both suggesting they could join a war against Kurdistan to prevent them getting away.

Iraqi soldiers last week also took part in a Turkish military drill close to the Iraqi frontier.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to the Supreme Leader, said "political chaos" in the Middle East would be one of the consequences of the referendum.

The statement called on the KRG to "end provocation in the areas it seized and abide by the decisions taken by the federal and constitutional court". "The Parviz Khan gate has temporarily closed this morning due to a military exercise being launched on the border areas", Aram Saya Khan, an official from the border-crossing gate told Rudaw, adding they were informed in an earlier meeting this morning with Iranian authorities.

Washington, another critic, said it did not recognise the "unilateral" referendum and urged dialogue and a rejection of the use of force.

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