Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. File photo.
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has owed to impose his government’s control over Kurdistan-held areas in line with the constitution, two days after the autonomous region voted on independence from Iraq.
“We will apply the constitution to all areas taken over after 2003 and after the entry of the Islamic State in 2014, and we will do that without shedding any bloods,” Abadi stated, speaking during an emergency parliamentary session on Wednesday, vowing to defend Kurdish civilians. “Any assault on Kurdish citizens is an assault on us,” he said.
Abadi also announced that an embargo on international flights on airports in the Kurdistan Region will go into force on Friday. He had given the region’s government three days to hand over the airports before the measure goes into action.
Kurds headed to polling stations on Monday to attend the polls rejected by the Arab-led central government in Baghdad, the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and regional powers Turkey and Iran.
Kurdistan gained actual 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.
Baghdad and Erbil have for long disputed sovereignty over a number of regions, most notably the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, besides contending over petroleum exports’ revenues from those regions.
Baghdad has repeatedly vowed to take legal action if Erbil proceeded with the vote. A few hours earlier, the Iraqi parliament ordered Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to deploy government forces at Kurdish-held areas where sovereignty is disputed with Erbil.