Iraqi lawmakers ask government to recover oilfields from Kurds

Iraqi Kurds have long dreamed of independence- something the Kurdish people were denied when colonial powers drew the map of the Middle East

Iraqi Kurds have long dreamed of independence- something the Kurdish people were denied when colonial powers drew the map of the Middle East

The government of the autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq today refused to relinquish the control of its border crossings to the Iraqi government.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on September 28 that he wants to hold a summit with Iranian and Iraqi leaders to coordinate their response to the Kurdish vote for independence in Iraq.

On the Republican side, Tea Party leader Trent Franks of Arizona introduced legislation this week expressing that "the people of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have the right to determine their status as a sovereign country".

All worldwide flights traveling to and from the Kurdish region are expected to halt at 6:00 p.m. local time Friday.

It didn't give more details or say how Ankara would deal with current crude exports from Iraqi Kurdistan.

"With its independence initiative, the northern Iraq regional government has thrown itself into the fire", he said in a speech to police officers at his palace in Ankara.

Neighbouring Turkey and Iran also strongly opposed the vote, fearing it would inflame the separatist aspirations of their own sizeable Kurdish populations. Either Trump, Tillerson or Mattis should threaten to cut military and economic aid to Iraq and Turkey if they continue down a path toward war.

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Iraq's Kurds took their first steps toward autonomy with the backing of a no-fly zone enforced by the United States in the 1990s. The United States in particular is wary of the creation of new states and their regional impact that tends to increase instability rather than reduce it, like in the case of South Sudan.

One of the few countries to come out in favor of the vote was Israel, a state with few friends in the region.

He also urged the KRG to "respect the constitutionally-mandated role of the central government".

Hoshyar Zebari, who helped lead the referendum drive in the Kurdish region and was formerly Iraq's foreign minister, said that criticism of the vote from the United States had "emboldened Baghdad" to take a hard-line position toward the Kurds.

Trump's team cites their previously-established priorities for national security crises as the reason they could not support the referendum.

"You saw the statements and harassments form al-Abadi on television", he said.

The ban saw people, many of them foreigners, flock to Arbil airport to avoid being stranded.

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On Wednesday, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) said in a statement that all global flights to and from Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports would be suspended starting from 15:00 GMT on Friday. Before doing so, the airline said it would await a decision from the Turkish CAA.

"It depends on the situation here. We will never hold talks based on the results of the referendum", Abadi said.

Closing their borders would also hurt Turkey, whose exports to the region are worth more than $8 billion a year, and Iran, which exports about $6 billion.

However, Monday's referendum, called while the fight against Islamic State remains unfinished, has squandered much of that goodwill.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi Council of Representatives approved a number of punitive measures against the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, for going ahead with the plebiscite.

"Everything has a price", said Baki Muhammed Hadi, a businessman in residential construction and imported electronics. "There's a lot we can do, if we're talking about that", he said.

But, Hadi added, "trade and economy is like water, it goes up and comes down". While Baghdad controls the airspace over the Kurdish region, immigration and security inside the airports themselves are controlled by local Kurdish region officials and security forces.

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