Iraq plans control of Kurdish borders with Iran and Turkey


Published: 2017-09-30 14:26

Last Updated: 2017-09-30 14:56

Kurdish people protesting outside of Erbil airport. (Photo Courtesy: Reuters)
Kurdish people protesting outside of Erbil airport. (Photo Courtesy: Reuters)

According to the Iraqi Defense Ministry, Iraq plans to take control of its the borders of its autonomous Iraqi-Kurdistan region "in coordination" with Iran and Turkey.

The move to seize control of border posts is a reponse to the Kurdish referendum on Monday which produced a 92% vote in favor of secession from Iraq. 

The Ministry's statement have little detail nor indicate specifically whether Iraqi forces were planning to toward the external border posts controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from the Iranian and Turkish side.

Following the referendum, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey demanded the KRG relinquish control of its external border crossings with Turkey, Iran and Syria.

The Iraqi government, backed by Ankara and Tehran, demanded that Kurdish leaders cancel the result of the referendum, or face possible threat of crippling sanctions, international isolation and potential military intervention.

On Friday, Baghdad imposed a ban on international flights to Iraqi-Kurdistan, after the KRG rejected a demand to hand over control of its international airports in Erbil and Sulaimaniya.

Iraq's Defense Ministry stated that the central government's management of border posts and airports was “going as planned in coordination with the relevant authorities and neighboring countries, and there is no delay in the procedures”.

State television stated that an Iraqi military delegation visited the Kurdistan border from the Iranian side, with an Iraqi force also deployed on the Turkish side of the border as part of join-drills with the Turkish army.