Iraqi diplomats rule out military confrontation with Kurdistan

Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

Baghdad ( Iraqi diplomats have ruled out the possibility of a military conflict with Kurdistan after the autonomous region voted for independence from Iraq.

Iraqi ambassador to Damascus, Riyad al-Taie, told Syrian al-Baath newspaper that “all options, except for the military option, are available for dealing with the region’s authorities”. He added that the Iraqi government will not resort to a military option because it is “rejected”.

According to Taie, all of the recent measures taken by Baghdad in response to a Kurdish referendum on independence were within the limits of the constitution and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s powers.

Kurdistan held a highly divisive poll on September 25th on independence from Iraq which it said was backed by 92% of voters. Baghdad, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union have rejected the move, urging Baghdad and Erbil to resort to dialogue to resolve disputed issues.

Iraq, Iran and Turkey have taken a series of penal measures against Kurdistan following the vote, including a closure of borders and airspaces and restrictions on economic and financial dealings, while forces from the three countries engaged in joint war games near the region’s borders in a show of power.

In an interview with Russian state agency TASS, Iraqi ambassador to Moscow, Haidar Mansour Hadi, also ruled out a military standoff. “It (military conflict)  is unlikely, because there is high level of coordination between Iraqi forces and peshmerga in fighting terrorism, in fighting ISIS. And I think both sides know that such conflict will not be good for both sides. Plus both sides are Iraqi, it will mean Iraqi – Iraqi conflict.”


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