Iraqi Kurds Renounce Secession Claims – Will Remain Part of Iraq

On the 25th of September, Iraqi Kurds held a secessionist vote based on the principles of extreme ethno-nationalist, where Kurds voted to separate from Iraq. The referendum was boycotted by Arabs, Assyrians, Armenians and local Turkmen and was doubly controversial as it included areas of Iraq that had been unilaterally occupied by Kurdish militants, which are outside the legally defined Kurdish Autonomous Region in northern Iraq.

Iraqi troops quickly liberated cities including oil-rich Kirkuk, which had been under Kurdish occupation since 2014 and restored legal Iraqi rule.

Iraq gave the Kurdish secessionists an ultimatum to peacefully return to the pre-referendum status quo, or else face vital assets restored fully to the control of Baghdad.

The ruler of Iraqi Kurds, Masoud Barzani formally stepped down as a result of the failed nationalist insurgency and today, the regional body of Iraqi Kurds released a statement agreeing to cooperate with Baghdad and cease any further secessionist activities.


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The statement, which offers a concurring opinion with the view of Iraq’s highest court reads as follows,

We believe that this decision must become a basis for starting an inclusive national dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve all disputes through implementation of all constitutional articles and in a way that guarantees all rights, authorities and status mentioned in the constitution”.

This represents the ultimate defeat of the Kurdish nationalist project for Iraq which was condemned by Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Russia, China and even the United States. However, many suspect that the US hedged their bets on a successful Kurdish insurgency, not fully aware of the kind of opposition the Israel supportive movement would incur.

Today marks yet another victory for the Iranian-Iraqi alliance which has now generally expanded to also include Turkey.

Top photo | Federal Iraqi security forces gather outside the Kurdish hold City of Altun Kupri, outskirts of Irbil, Iraq, Oct. 19. 2017. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)


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