Turkish FM warns N. Iraqi Kurds of military operation

Army will immediately intervene if northern Iraqi Turkmen are targeted, Cavusoglu says 

Turkish FM warns N. Iraqi Kurds of military operation

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday warned against a possible military operation in northern Iraq in case the Turkmen community is targeted.

Cavusoglu's remarks came amid an ongoing non-binding independence referendum in the region, which will see Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)-held areas, including territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, vote on seceding from Iraq.

"Turkish army will intervene immediately if our Turkmen brothers [in disputed Kirkuk province] are physically targeted," Cavusoglu said in an interview aired live on AHaber news network.

He said Turkey would no longer provide "military training support for the [Kurdish] Peshmerga forces," adding Ankara would from now on be engaging primarily with the Baghdad administration.

Iraq, Turkey, Iran, the U.S., and the UN have all spoken out against the KRG referendum, saying it will only distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.

Iraq’s central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.

KRG President Massoud Barzani has said a Yes win would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Eylül 2017, 16:43