Najaf (IraqiNews.com) A senior Iraqi paramilitary leader said Thursday that civil war would become “inevitable” in Iraq if Kurdistan Region’s government proceeds with a planned referendum on independence from Iraq.
Hadi al-Ameri, secretary-general of Badr Organization, was quoted by Rudaw network on Thursday saying during a festival in Najaf province that civil war would occur “if escalation continues on the same rate regarding the issue of Kurdistan Region’s referendum”.
He urged world countries to prevent Iraq from “sliding to civil war” by blocking the vote.
Badr Organization is a major component of the Popular Mobilization Forces, the Shia-led alliance of paramilitary troops fighting Islamic State militants alongside the Iraqi government. PMF leaders have warned against Kurdistan’s proceeding with the vote slated for September 25th, with a number of leaders threatening to use force and view Kurdistan as an enemy if secession is chosen.
Since it declared the date of the referendum, the Kurdish government has defied calls from Baghdad to postpone the measure. Baghdad has maintained that the planned poll was unconstitutional, and a political crisis erupted when Kurds included oil-rich Kirkuk, a disputed territory, as a voting constituency.
Kurdistan gained autonomous governance based on the 2005 constitution, but is still considered a part of Iraq. The region was created in 1970 based on an agreement with the Iraqi government, ending years of conflicts.