Why Israel Is Cheering On Iraqi Kurds' Push for Independence

The coffin of former Iraqi President Talabani was covered with a Kurdish flag at Sulaimaniyah Airport

Last month, Russian oil major Rosneft clinched a gas pipeline deal in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan to help it become a major exporter of gas to Turkey and Europe.

His words were partly echoed by Erdogan, who said that "Turkey's and Iran's determination on the matter is evident".

On Thursday, Popular Mobilization Forces (a.k.a. Hashd al-Sha'abi) spokesperson stated the group is now tasked with "protecting the unity of Iraq".

Based on undisputable evidence, the U.S. and Israel have reached a general agreement on the Kurdish session vote, Erdogan said, regretting that Iraq's Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani had made an unforgivable mistake. But the militants still control a stretch alongside the country's western border with Syria.

"Iraq belongs to all Iraqis", he said, appealing to Kurdish Peshmerga forces to work with the Iraqi army "as we have worked together against Daesh (the Islamic State group), to guarantee citizens' safety". Last week, the militants released a purported audio recording of Baghdadi, in which he urged followers to keep up the fight despite recent setbacks.

"According to irrefutable proof, the US and Israel have reached general agreements over the Kurdistan issue".

In a statement, the US -led coalition fighting the Islamic State said some 1,000 Islamic State fighters surrendered during the fight for Hawijah - a notable figure because Iraqi and American officials had estimated there were some 1,500 fighters in the town before the battle was launched.

Conversely, ISIS still controls up to 8,000 square miles or more than 20 percent of its so-called caliphate.

The Iraqi Kurds held a unilateral independence referendum on September 25.

"As Iraqi security forces continue to push (IS) up against the Kurdish defensive line. you're going to find Kurdish Peshmerga forces killing or capturing ISIS fighters that have been pushed out of Hawija city", he said, referring to the extremists by an alternate acronym.

The plane was given special exemption from a ban on global flights imposed a week ago by the Iraqi government following Kurdistan's independence referendum last month.

Bagdad has found strong support from both Iran and Turkey against the push for Kurdish secession.

After the majority of the Kurdish population in northern Iraq voted in favor of independence, the leaders of the neighboring countries are condemning the vote and calling for a firm response. Who will come, how are you going to leave? The central bank had informed the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Tuesday it would stop selling dollars to the four Kurdish banks, and would halt all foreign currency transfers to the autonomous region, banking and government sources told Reuters.

Talabani was the first non-Arab president of Iraq, elected in 2005, two years after the USA -led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Arab, empowering the Shi'ite Arab majority and allowing the Kurds - who are mostly Sunni Muslims - to have a recognised autonomous region with its own military force, the peshmerga.

While the PMU is predominantly Shiite, the force includes a few Sunnis, Kurds, Yazidis, and even Christians, among other minorities in Iraq.



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