Saturday, September 30, 2017

Baghdad's more interested in attacking the KRG than in fighting ISIS

In Iraq, the fighting continues.

is attacking Hit. Many IS fighters stormed the Local Council building in the center of the city..

Instead of focusing on that, the Iraqi government focuses on threatening the KRG in northern Iraq.

AP reports, "Two Iraqi officials say Iraqi central government officials have moved through Turkey onto the Turkish side of one of the Kurdish region’s international border crossings. The Saturday maneuvers come as Baghdad works to isolate the region [. . .]"  RUDAW adds, "Iranian and Iraqi forces are to launch a joint military exercise on Iran's borders with the Kurdistan Region in the coming days, a senior Iranian security official told his country's state TV."

And yesterday ALJAZEERA noted, "A ban on international flights into Iraq's Kurdish region has gone into effect after the central government in Baghdad retaliated against a vote for secession that has also drawn opposition from neighbouring countries" while REUTERS explained, "The last international flight left Erbil airport on Friday as the Baghdad government imposed an air ban on Iraqi Kurdistan in retaliation for an independence vote that has drawn widespread opposition from foreign powers."  The response?  Ali Sheikho (ANADOLU AGENCY) explains, "Northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has called on the federal government in Baghdad and the UN to lift an air embargo imposed on the Kurdish region following this week’s illegitimate independence referendum."

Well maybe the US government -- that's depended so much on the KRG -- can offer a hand?



The US State Dept issued the following on Friday:

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government's Referendum

Press Statement
Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 29, 2017

The United States does not recognize the Kurdistan Regional Government’s unilateral referendum held on Monday.
The vote and the results lack legitimacy and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq.
We remain concerned about the potential negative consequences of this unilateral step. Prior to the vote, we worked with both the KRG and the central government in Baghdad to pursue a more productive framework and to promote stability and prosperity for the people ‎of the Kurdistan region. These aspirations, ultimately, cannot be advanced through unilateral measures such as this referendum.
We urge calm and an end to vocal recriminations and threats of reciprocal actions. We urge Iraqi Kurdish authorities to respect the constitutionally-mandated role of the central government and we call upon the central government to reject threats or even allusion to possible use of force. The United States asks all parties, including Iraq’s neighbors, to reject unilateral actions and the use of force.
The fight against ISIS/ Daesh is not over, and extremist groups are seeking to exploit instability and discord. We urge our Iraqi partners to remain focused on defeating ISIS/Daesh.
We encourage all sides to engage constructively in a dialogue to improve the future of all Iraqis. 

The following community sites updated -- Cindy Sheehan, THE GUARDIAN and Jody Watley -- updated:


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