Baghdad accuses Kurds of reneging on pullback deal



Thu, 02 Nov 2017 - 04:00 GMT


Thu, 02 Nov 2017 - 04:00 GMT

Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi - File photo

Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi - File photo

BAGHDAD - 2 November 2017: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Wednesday accused the Kurds of reneging on an agreement to withdraw their forces from disputed zones in the north of the country.

The Kurds have since "gone back on the accord" reached Sunday on the pullout of Kurdish peshmerga fighters from the disputed areas, notably a border post with Turkey, he told journalists.

"If they do not stick to it we will do what we want, and if our forces find themselves under fire, we will show them the strength of the law," Abadi said.

Hemin Hawrami, an adviser to Kurdish leader Massud Barzani who has stepped down, accused the central government of mounting "an escalation against Kurdistan".

"The Iraqi government has no interest in dialogue," he tweeted, warning of "the drums of war in Kurdistan".

On Tuesday, government forces took control of the key border crossing with Turkey after weeks of tensions between Baghdad and Arbil, the capital of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, according to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

The two sides clashed last week as Iraqi forces sought to capture the vital oil export point of Fishkhabur on the border, in the latest flare-up of a crisis sparked by a Kurdish independence vote on September 25.

Iraqi forces have since mid-October recaptured almost all the territories disputed by Baghdad and Arbil, much of it without Kurdish resistance.



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