Iraq’s Defense Ministry says it will be taking control of the borders of its northern Kurdistan region in coordination with Iran and Turkey.
The move comes as a response to a Kurdish referendum on Monday that voted in favor of secession from Iraq.
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Following the vote, Iraq, Iran and Turkey demanded that the KRG relinquished control over its external border crossings with Turkey, Iran and Syria.
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Press TV reports:
The Iraqi Defense Ministry said on Friday that the implementation of the central government’s decisions to take over all of Kurdistan’s border posts and airports was “going as planned.”
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a non-binding referendum on secession from Iraq in defiance of Baghdad’s stiff opposition on September 25. Kurdish officials said over 90 percent of the voters said ‘Yes’ to separation from Iraq.
With the exception of the Israeli regime, all major regional and international parties have voiced serious concerns about the secessionist move, saying it would compound Iraq’s problems as the country is busy fighting the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
After the referendum, the Baghdad government ordered the KRG to hand over its international airports in its capital of Erbil, and the city of Sulaimaniya, as well as its border crossings.
It also asked the KRG to either cancel the result of the plebiscite or face potential sanctions, international isolation, and military intervention.
A ban on international flights into and out of the Iraqi Kurdish region also took effect on Friday.
The KRG has refused to either hand over the airports and land terminals or annul the vote’s outcome.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry said the move to take over the borders would go underway “in coordination with the relevant authorities and neighboring countries, and there is no delay in the procedures.”