Iran to lift border curbs with Iraq's Kurdish region in coming days

Oct 31, 2017, 00:21
Iran to lift border curbs with Iraq's Kurdish region in coming days

Saboteurs also reportedly ransacked the offices of Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party and the opposition Gorran movement. No casualties were reported.

On Sunday, protesters stormed into the Kurdistan Parliament building as the chamber voted for distributing president Masoud Barzani's powers among a number of state bodies.

The president's Kurdistan Regional Government said it had ordered the local police forces, known as Asayish, to stop the attacks.

"Three million votes for Kurdistan independence created history and can not be erased", Mr Barzani said, bitterly accusing his political rivals of "treason" for giving up the contested oil-rich city of Kirkuk to central government troops in the fighting sparked by the 25 September vote. The reformist Gorran party opposed the vote, arguing that the timing was poor.

The Iraqi military and the Kurdish minority had been clashing for several weeks in mostly low-level firefights until Friday, when they agreed to a cease-fire, and Kurdish forces abandoned the land they held, largely without resistance. A Kurdish official said Sunday, Oct.

The UN meanwhile called on security forces to "prevent any plot against the stability of the Kurdistan Region" and condemned the killing of a Kurdish video journalist by unidentified assailants in Kirkuk province overnight.

In a Monday statement, al-Abadi called on all sides to refrain from escalations.

He said the central Iraqi government was closely monitoring what he described as "attempts to create chaos and disorder" in the Kurdish cities of Erbil and Dohuk.

The chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, Mohammad Baqeri, says the country will reopen all its border crossings with the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq in the "coming days".

He said if Iraqi Kurdistan implemented its plan to break away from Baghdad, "there would be bloodshed in Iraq and neighbouring countries would be affected".

The two sides are now negotiating control of border posts including areas where an important oil pipeline crosses into Turkey. The referendum resulted in more than 92 percent of Iraqi Kurds choosing independence.

Mr. Barzani, himself a former guerrilla leader, has run the KRG since 2005, presiding with a firm hand as the region prospered while the rest of Iraq struggled in civil war.

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