Iraq authorities gain 1st foothold at Kurdish frontier with Turkey

Trevor Jackson
November 2, 2017

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Friday declared a pause in an offensive that began on October 16 to take over areas claimed both by his government and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Barzani made a televised speech after the Iraqi Kurdistan parliament approved his request not to extend his term beyond November 1, after an independence referendum he championed last month backfired and triggered military and economic retaliation against the Kurdish region he has been leading since 2005.

The Iraqis set up positions between the Turkish and the Iraqi Kurdish checkpoints at the Habur border crossing between the Turkish town of Silopi and the Iraqi town of Zakho, a security source in Baghdad said.

The statement also accused the Kurds of moving their forces during the negotiated period and building new defensive lines to hamper the redeployment of the federal forces.

The statement stressed that "the federal forces are required to secure areas and borders, protect the civilians and have strict instructions not to clash and prevent bloodshed, but if armed groups associated with Erbil fired missiles or bombed at federal forces, killed members and intimidated the citizens, they will be pursued by the forces of the federal law and will not be safe".

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The Kurdish Peshmerga fighters' command accused Iraqi forces of massing weapons and threatening force to resolve "domestic political differences".

The announcement comes a day after Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said he would give up his position as president on November 1, after the independence referendum he championed backfired and triggered military action by the Baghdad.

Vehicles crossing the border would now be subject to three checks - by Turks, Iraqi forces and the Kurds.

Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani gave a bitter speech on Sunday to announce his resignation, saying no one outside the Kurds' home region had stood up to support their right of self-determination.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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