… from PressTV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: I certainly did not think that Turkey was bluffing with its earlier pronouncements that its relations with Iraqi Kurdistan, long and intimate ones, would take a 180°-turn if the referendum were held.
Turkey’s main concern is seeing the referendum trigger an uprising in its own unhappy Kurdish regions, when it already has serious concerns with a Kurdish independent state being carved out on its southern border with Syria, and sharing a common border with Iraqi Kurdistan.
There is some irony in this, and a bit of humor… that the man that jumped into pillaging Syria when he saw a good opening, especially the Aleppo area, has now seen the wheel turn with his number coming up on the target list.
Undiscussed in this controversy so far is how deeply both Israel and Saudi Arabia are involved in supporting Barzani, and why. The Israelis were quick to announce their support, while the Saudis said just the opposite. But that looks like a bare-faced lie to me, as the Saudis would love nothing better than to hook up with the Iraqi Kurds who will need military support and money, in return for being able to run Iran regime-change operations out of Kurdistan.
Creating some problems for Erdogan, after he came in to support Qatar in its dispute with the Saudi royals, is also a goal. Revenge is a big thing in the Arab tribal world, where all the tribes are basically supremacists, wanting to rule the show, and miserable when they are not.
And last, a third force is lurking in the shadows, also undiscussed, and that is the off-the-books US contractors who are looking to be out of work soon in Syria. There is nothing more dangerous that a bunch of well-trained cutthroats who have been operating with impunity doing their nasty work, facing unemployment.
Chaos, turmoil, war and suffering are mother’s milk to these criminals. If you want to know who is really behind this new Kurdish destabilization push, all you have to do is see who is hiring all the soon to be out of work white-collar hoodlums from the Syrian proxy terror war.
The good news is the offer of mediation. As I have been editorializing, I suspected Barzani is playing a game of chicken here to increase his share of the oil revenue cut and has decided now is the best time to push for it, because as we are seeing, neither Iran, Turkey and Syria would want to see a new war explode in their back yard… Jim W. Dean ]
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– First published … September 23, 2017 –
Turkey’s top security body says an independence referendum planned by Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region “directly” threatens Turkish national security. On Friday, Turkey’s National Security Council held a meeting chaired by President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara to discuss the referendum planned by the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
In a closing statement, the council said the KRG’s insistence on holding the vote on Monday despite warnings from Ankara, Baghdad, and the United Nations would have “terrible consequences” for the region.
“The illegitimacy of the referendum… and its being unacceptable were once again specified. It was strongly stressed that this step, which directly threatens Turkey’s national security, was a grave mistake that threatens Iraq’s political unity and territorial integrity as well as peace, security and stability of the region,” the statement read.
Turkey, which is home to the largest Kurdish population in the region, fears that the Kurdistan plebiscite would embolden the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in its push for autonomy in Turkey’s southeastern areas.
Turkey reserves its sovereign rights under international accords should the Kurdish referendum go ahead, the statement added, signaling an extension of military presence in Iraq.
“Turkey reserves all options arising from bilateral and international agreements if the Kurdish regional referendum is held,” it said.
The statement also renewed Ankara’s call on the KRG to cancel the referendum “when there is still time” and expressed the Turkish government’s readiness to mediate between the KRG and the Iraqi central government to settle their disagreements “on a constitutional basis and through dialog.”
Barzani delays presser on independence vote
Meanwhile, KRG President Masoud Barzani postponed a scheduled news conference on the controversial referendum from Saturday to Sunday.
“The news conference will take place on Sunday, and the time and venue will be announced later,” Barzani’s office announced without elaborating.
‘All options on the table’
The National Security Council’s meeting was followed by a Turkish cabinet meeting that focused on countermeasures ahead of the Iraqi Kurdish vote.
Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Bekir Bozdag, the Turkish deputy prime minister and government spokesman, told reporters that “all options were on the table” as far as Ankara’s response to the referendum was concerned.
“It is not possible for us to accept the postponing of the referendum either. We demand a total cancellation, so that we won’t have to impose sanctions,” he said.
Earlier this week, Erdogan threatened to impose sanctions against the Iraqi Kurdistan over the independence vote. Since September 18, the Turkish army has been conducting tank drills near the border with the Iraqi Kurdish region.