Israel approves first new settlement in UNESCO-protected Hebron in 15 years

Israel approves first new settlement in UNESCO-protected Hebron in 15 years
Israel has approved 31 new settlement homes in the city of Hebron in the West Bank for the first time in 15 years.

Hebron is the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank and is home to a population of about 1,000 Israeli settlers who live in the middle of the Old City.

The new houses will be built for the Beit Romano settlement on what used to be a bus station on Shuhada Street. The Civil Administration’s Licensing Subcommittee approved the permits, but said they are subject to conditions, including appeal, the Times of Israel reports.

The Times of Israel and the Jewish Press report the approval was seen as an Israeli response to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization‚Äôs (UNESCO) recent decision to list Hebron‚Äôs Old City as an¬†‚Äúendangered Palestinian World Heritage Site.‚ÄĚ

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved a number of new settlements this year. The building of settlements on land in the Palestinian Territories is perceived as an obstacle to the peace process and is considered a violation of article 49 of the Geneva Convention.

Settlement advocates say even though there has been a number of announcements of new settlement construction, only a fraction may actually be built in the end, Reuters reports.

‚ÄúThe permits approved today would increase the number of settlers in Hebron by 20 percent,‚Ä̬†Hagit Ofran of Israeli Peace Now told RT.¬†‚ÄúThey required significant legal acrobatics that might not stand the test of the High Court of Justice. While doing everything in his power to please a small group of settlers, Netanyahu is harming Israel’s morality and image abroad, while crushing basic values of human rights and dignity.”

‚ÄúWe thank the prime minister, government ministers, Knesset members and all public figures who worked with determination and dedication together with us to promote this construction,‚Ä̬†the Jewish community of Hebron said in a statement, the Jewish News reports.¬†‚ÄúWe ask everyone to ensure that the construction is indeed carried out without delay.‚ÄĚ

The last time settlements were approved in Hebron was in 2002, when 10 units were built in Tel Rumeida.

Courtesy: RT

Maltese journalist who led Panama Papers corruption investigation killed in car blast

Maltese journalist who led Panama Papers corruption investigation killed in car blast
One of Malta‚Äôs most prominent investigative journalists, Daphne Caruana Galizia, has been killed in a presumed car bomb attack. She was most recently known for exposing the Maltese prime minister’s offshore dealings in the Panama Papers scandal.

The 53-year-old was killed when the car she was driving exploded near her home in Bidnija, near Mosta in northern Malta, the Times of Malta reports.

The explosion took place at around 3pm local time according to Malta’s police force.

Caruana Galizia ran the hugely popular ‚ÄėRunning Commentary‚Äô blog, which had a track record of highlighting scandals in the Mediterranean country.

One such prominent scandal came about earlier this year, when Caruana Galizia accused Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his wife and members of his government, of owning offshore companies in Panama ‚Äď all part of the long-running Panama Papers leak.

While Muscat denied the allegations, the scandal did cause him to call a snap general election in June, which his party won, losing only two House of Representatives seats.

Muscat denounced Caruana Galizia’s killing in a televised press conference.

“I condemn without reservations this barbaric attack on a person and on the freedom of expression in our country,”he said.¬†“Everyone knows Ms Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine, both politically and personally, as she was for others too.”

This is a spiteful attack on a citizen and freedom of expression. I will not rest until justice is done. The country deserves justice -JM

However, he said there could be¬†“no justification… in any way”¬†for the killing.¬†“I will not rest before justice is done,”¬†he added.

Malta Television reported that Caruana Galizia had filed a complaint to the police two weeks ago to say she had received threats but gave no further information.

In 2016 the blogger was named as one of¬†Politico‚Äôs¬†‚Äú28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe.‚ÄĚ

Maltese police have opened a murder inquiry.

Courtesy: RT

Dramatic moment Iraqi forces enter Kurdish Kirkuk, captured by RT (VIDEO)

An RT Arabic crew has been on the frontline in Kirkuk and managed to film dramatic scenes showing the very moments the Iraqi military forced its way into the Kurdish-controlled city Monday.

The exclusive footage brought by RT Arabic correspondent Bzurk Muhammad shows tanks and armored personnel carriers roaming the empty Kirkuk roads while brandishing red, black and green Iraqi flags. As they stream deeper into the city, thick white smoke starts filling the air. Men armed with rifles can be seen firing shots in the direction of the procession from a sidewalk, sparking panic among the onlookers.

As the Iraqi forces were preparing to take over, many of the locals opted to flee Kirkuk as it turned into a battle zone.

‚ÄúHalf the Kirkuk residents have left the city, worried because of the confrontation between the Iraqi Army and the Kurdish forces. The residents are fleeing into Kurdistan‚Äôs other provinces and demanding the war and hostilities in Kirkuk be stopped,‚Ä̬†Peshtivan Ahmad, a local resident, told RT.

With Kirkuk split between a Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen population, there were those who rejoiced at the sight of the Iraqi Army taking control over the city.

‚ÄúWhere are Asayish [Kurdish intelligence agency] and Peshmerga?! They have abandoned the city. We are calling on the Iraqi government to hold corrupt officials and crooks who squandered Kirkuk‚Äôs budget accountable,‚Ä̬†Sheikh Emad Fili, a local resident, told RT.

The lack of concerted response to the Iraqi forces’ invasion from the Kurdish militias highlighted the discord between different Kurdish factions, as some of the militias were reported to leave Kirkuk and others stayed to face off with the Iraqi forces.

Iraqi Army soldier Ahmad Hussaine told Muhammad that the troops have been on a hunt for Peshmerga fighters who might be still holing up in the city.

‚ÄúThank God, our combat spirit is very high,‚Ä̬†Hussaine said, adding that the Iraqi forces have been combing the terrain in search for Kurdish fighters since Sunday.

‚ÄúSome eight Peshmerga fighters were killed at the beginning. And since then we haven‚Äôt found anyone,‚Ä̬†he said, noting that although there have been other instances of clashes with Peshmerga, they have not resulted in casualties.

‚ÄúThey tried to resist. They opened fire at us, but no one was hurt.‚ÄĚ

Residents of Kirkuk, which borders Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, took part in a recent Kurdish independence referendum. The vote was denounced by Iraq and neighboring countries with large Kurdish populations, as well as by the international community.

While the ballot could have been the last straw, that prompted the Iraqi government to¬†‚Äúenforce security‚Ä̬†on the city, its timing shows that the retreat of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) rekindled smoldering conflicts and kick-started the carve-up of the freshly liberated territory.

Iraqi journalist Mahmood Ibrahim told RT that following the Iraqi push on Sunday night that saw the troops attacking the city from three sides with some Peshmerga units pulling out, the government succeeded in overrunning the city.

‚ÄúRight now the city is almost completely under the control of the Iraqi forces, the federal police and the Popular Mobilization Units [Iraqi state-sponsored militia],‚Ä̬†Ibrahim said, adding that both sides were reported to suffer minor losses.

‚ÄúWe are talking about 12 casualties from Al-Hashd Al-Sha’ab Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and we‚Äôre talking about 10 of [the] Peshmerga [fighters].‚ÄĚ

Meanwhile, there are concerns that sporadic clashes could spill over into a full-blown military confrontation, endangering Iraq‚Äôs integrity. Iraqi Parliamentary Speaker Salim Al-Jabouri told RT that although the lawmakers¬†‚Äúsupport the presence of the army and their control of certain facilities in Kirkuk,‚Ä̬†the situation is highly volatile.

‚ÄúThe situation on the ground is constantly developing. We are calling on both the Iraqi government and the Kurdish Autonomous Region to show reserve in solving their problems,‚Ä̬†he said.

That the Iraqi Army is going after the Kurdish militias after a long time being preoccupied with a battle against IS, shows that the looming defeat of the terrorist group will exacerbate internal tensions, Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, argued.

‚ÄúThe battle against ISIS is, if not finished, it‚Äôs largely finished and they have been able to come up with a plan. The war of words got hotter and hotter and they have moved special forces‚Ä̬†to Kirkuk, he said, adding that he believes that the oil resources in Kirkuk‚Äôs ground is the number one reason for the offensive.

READ MORE: Oil prices rising as Iraqi forces advance on Kurdish-held territory

‚ÄúIt‚Äôs all about oil. This is very important for Iraq to take a city which they believe is theirs, the government’s, and to establish very quickly, now that their military is stronger, has proven itself against ISIS… they wanted to strike while the iron is hot.‚ÄĚ

As the situation began to unfold in Kirkuk, the US-led anti-IS coalition claimed that the Iraqi army maneuvers in the vicinity of the city¬†‚Äúso far have been coordinated movements, not attacks‚Ä̬†calling the clashes between Iraqi and Peshmerga forces¬†‚Äúmisunderstanding.‚ÄĚ

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that the US is¬†‚Äúnot taking sides‚Ä̬†in the ongoing standoff.

The State Department later issued a statement, saying that it is¬†‚Äúvery concerned by reports of violence around Kirkuk‚Ä̬†urging all parties to avoid provocations, arguing that the clashes distract them from the battle against IS which is yet to be defeated in Iraq.

Courtesy: RT

Iraqi military advances in Kirkuk, captures key positions from Kurdish forces

Iraqi military advances in Kirkuk, captures key positions from Kurdish forces
Iraqi troops have captured several key Peshmerga-controlled positions near Kirkuk, one of the key cities in Iraqi Kurdistan and continue to advance, the Iraqi military has said.

The Iraqi armed forces gained control of roads and infrastructure near Kirkuk from Kurdish fighters, including the North Gas Company station, a nearby oil processing plant, and the industrial district south of the city. The military also captured Kirkuk’s K-1 Air Base from Kurdish forces, a military statement says, according to Reuters.

Following the clashes between the Kurdish Peshmerga military force and Iraqi government troops supported by pro-government militas civilians blocked roads inside Kirkuk to prevent Peshmerga military vehicles from retreating, according to Rudaw.

The troops were ordered to¬†‚Äúimpose security in Kirkuk in cooperation with Kurdish Peshmerga,‚Ä̬†Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on live television. Under the orders, the army¬†should¬†‚Äúsecure bases [and] federal installations in Kirkuk province.‚Ä̬†The troops were also advised¬†‚Äúto cooperate with Peshmerga and avoid confrontations, and to protect all civilians.‚ÄĚ


The first four Iraqi vehicles tried to cross the defence lines are destroyed by Peshmerga. Still, war is not the solution.

Iraqi state TV reported that Counter-Terrorism Service, the federal government and the 9th division of the Iraqi Army, have already secured¬†‚Äúlarge areas‚Ä̬†without any resistance from the Kurdish command.

Kurdish news channel, Rudaw, however, reported that clashes between Kurdish and government-led forces erupted on the Taza Khurmatu front near Kirkuk.

Iraqi security sources told Reuters that gunfire was heard in Kirkuk while the Peshmerga were urging the locals to resist. Kurdish sources meanwhile told the agency that clashes took place in the industrial zone of Kirkuk, while an artillery exchange took place south of the city.

Peshmerga forces attacked by Iraqi forces/PMF in  using US equipment, incl Abrams tanks & Humvees gifted to Iraq for the war on Isis.

Earlier Baghdad and the command of PMF issued a list of demands calling on Peshmerga forces to leave a number of positions south and west of Kirkuk so that those outposts can be transferred under the control of Baghdad. The Kurds were reportedly given a deadline of 2am to comply with the ultimatum, Rudaw News reported.

The Kurdish leadership said on Saturday that they would not comply and leave all of the outposts mentioned in a list of demands, provincial Governor Najmaldin Karim told reporters.

‚ÄúThe places that they have demanded, as mentioned in those points, have so far all been rejected,‚Ä̬†Karim was quoted as saying by Rudaw.

Tensions between Baghdad and the regional Kurdish government have been tense in the wake of Kurdistan’s independence referendum late last month where some 92.7 percent of voters chose to leave Iraq.

Baghdad immediately denounced the move as¬†‚Äúunconstitutional.‚Ä̬†Turkey, Iran and Syria also expressed their opposition to the creation of an independent Kurdistan over concerns that it may spur separatist sentiment in their own Kurdish-populated areas.

The Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry quickly dismissed the allegations. Kurdish leaders also rejected a call by Baghdad to cancel the results of the September 25 independence vote.

‚ÄúThe outcome of the referendum will not be nullified,‚Ä̬†the Kurdish region’s Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said after consulting Kurdistan’s two main political parties.¬†‚ÄúTalk of canceling these results is out of the question and will not address the problems.‚ÄĚ

Courtesy: RT

Deadly fires rage in Portugal, Spain, ex-Hurricane Ophelia fans flames

Dozens of people have been killed in wildfires in northern and central Portugal and in Galicia in Spain. Arson has been blamed for some of the fires, which have been fanned by Hurricane Ophelia and hot autumn weather.

Portugal has declared a state of emergency after hundreds of wildfires ravaged forests in the north and center of the country. Unusually hot temperatures and prolonged dry weather throughout helped the fires spread easily.

РAt least 36 people have died in Portugal, according to civil defense authorities

РOver 5,000 firefighters are battling the blazes

РHundreds of people have been evacuated, with schools, roads and rail services being closed

“We are facing new (weather) conditions… In an era of climate change, such disasters are becoming reality all over the world,” Portuguese Interior Minister, Constanca Urbano de Sousa, said citing the¬†fires burning in California.

The deaths come just four months after 64 people¬†were killed and more than 250 injured in mid-June, in the deadliest fire in the country’s history.

Portugal fire burnt out lorry The wildfires in June were the worst in Portugal’s history

Arsonists behind some fires

Across the border in Spain, at least three people died as more than 105 fires broke out in the northwestern region of Galicia. Spanish and Portuguese authorities have blamed arson for some of the fires.

Speaking to firefighters in the region, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said¬†“what we are seeing here doesn’t happen accidentally. This has been provoked.”

“They are absolutely intentional fires, premeditated, caused by people who know what they are doing,” said Alberto Nunez Feijoo, the head of the Galicia regional government. He said that 90 percent of forest fires each year in Galicia were intentional.

Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said “several people have been identified in connection to the fires in Galicia.”

Firefighter in blaze in SpainSome of the wildfires were caused by arsonists, authorities say

The fires in both Spain and Portugal were exacerbated by strong winds caused by ex-Hurricane Ophelia, whose remnants brushed the Iberian coast and has also caused major disruption in Ireland.

The European Commission offered its condolences and vowed to help where it could.

Our deepest condolences go to those affected by the devastating forest fires in Portugal and Spain. We are ready to help. 

Rain was forecast to fall later Monday and bring some respite for firefighters.

ng/rt (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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Courtesy: Fox News

Ophelia: Deaths as freak storm slams into Ireland

Three people are reported to have died and thousands are without power as ex-hurricane Ophelia moves over Ireland. The storm was downgraded overnight, but authorities have issued a red alert as it made landfall.

Authorities in Ireland reported the first fatality on Monday after Tropical Storm Ophelia hit the country with wind speeds reaching 176 kilometers (109 miles) per hour on the southernmost coast.

National broadcaster RTE, quoting the local council office, said a woman died in the southeast country of Waterford when a tree fell on her car as a result of the storm.

Police confirmed a man had also died in an accident while clearing a fallen tree near the town of Cahir in the south. A second man on the east coast was also killed by a tree falling onto his vehicle, police said.

Ophelia made landfall after 0940 UTC, according to the Met Eireann national weather service.

Read more:¬†Mother Nature’s wrath: Is climate change making mega-hurricanes the new normal?

Hurricane OpheliaOphelia is the 15th named storm of the 2017 Atlantic season

Widespread power cuts

Met Eirann said the storm was forecast to track directly over Ireland, bringing “violent and destructive gusts.”

It warned that “heavy rain and storm surges along some coasts will result in flooding. There is a danger to life and property.”

Some 210,000 homes and businesses have already been left without power. Schools and universities have shut, and airports in Dublin and Cork have cancelled many flights.

The Irish prime minister or Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, urged people to stay indoors and to check on their neighbors and elderly relatives. “It is coming your way and this is a national red alert. Even after the storm has passed there will still be dangers. There will be trees on the ground and power lines down,” he said.

Read more: Hurricanes release energy of 10,000 nuclear bombs

Unprecedented storm

Before being downgraded to a storm ahead of landfall in Ireland, Ophelia was the largest hurricane ever recorded so far east in the Atlantic Ocean and the furthest north since 1939.

The storm came exactly 30 years after the Great Storm hit southern England on October 16, 1987, leaving 18 people dead and causing widespread damage.

The eye of Ophelia is forecast to move across Northern Ireland and then Scotland. Although it will weaken during its progress, gusts of up to 129 kilometers per hour are still expected in the UK.

Other parts of Europe have also been affected by Ophelia, which has indirectly caused unseasonably warm weather in some regions, including Germany. Wind gusts spawned by Hurricane Ophelia have also whipped wildfires in Portugual and Spain, killing dozens of people.

tj/rt (AFP, Reuters)

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Iraqi forces enter Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk

Iraq’s counter-terrorism forces have taken control of key government buildings in oil-rich Kirkuk. Thousands of Kurds have fled the city, fearing reprisal killings from Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shiite militias.

Iraqi civilians gather as Iraqi forces arrive in the first neighbourhood on the southern outskirts of Kirkuk
  • Iraqi forces entered the city of Kirkuk in Iraqi on Monday, capturing key government buildings including the Kirkuk governor’s building.
  • The incursion into the Kurdish-controlled area prompted thousands of Kurdish residents to flee, with international aid groups warning of the humanitarian fallout.
  • Amid escalating tensions, Germany’s defense ministry withdrew 140 military trainers stationed in northern Iraq to instruct peshmerga fighters involved in the fight against the “Islamic State.”

Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism forces on Monday entered Kirkuk and captured key government buildings in the Kurdish-controlled city, according to security sources. They¬†raised the Iraqi flag over the provincial council’s headquarters in Kirkuk and took control of the governor’s building.

Read more: Kirkuk: What you need to know about the Kurdish-Iraqi dispute

Turkey has offered to help¬†Iraq’s federal government oust Kurdish fighters from Kirkuk after reports that fighters of Turkey’s outlawed¬†Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were inside the oil-rich city.

Tensions between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan have escalated since the the Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly voted last month for an independent state in a non-binding referendum, which controversially included disputed territories such as Kirkuk.

What you need to know

  • Following a controversial Kurdish independence referendum, Iraqi forces gave Kurdish forces a Sunday deadline to retreat to positions agreed upon in a 2014 accord.
  • When Kurdish forces failed to do so,¬†Iraqi security forces¬†advanced on areas surrounding oil-rich Kirkuk, culminating in the capture of oil fields, regional government buildings, an airport and a military base on Monday.
  • Kurdish peshmerga forces¬†retreated, effectively allowing¬†Iraqi security forces and Iranian-backed Shiite militias to move into the city unopposed.

‘Impose security’

Iraqi state TV reported that Iraqi forces had¬†taken control of “vast areas” outside of Kirkuk city.

Kurdish peshmerga forces reportedly retreated back from positions outside the city, but were setting up defenses in the city as thousands of civilians fled in cars north to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. The move by Iraqi forces prompted the German military to withdraw 140 military trainers deployed in northern Iraq to instruct peshmerga fighters.

Read more: What is the Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum?

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered security forces “to impose security in Kirkuk in cooperation with the population of the city and the peshmerga.” He said¬†that instructions were given for forces¬†to stay out of the city.

The @IraqiGovt only acted to fulfil its constitutional duty to extend the federal authority,guarantee security & protect the national wealth

The Kurdistan Region Security Council¬†claimed peshmerga¬†had destroyed several US-supplied¬†Humvees belonging to the PMU.¬†Hemin Hawrami, an adviser to Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, quoted the peshmerga command as saying Abadi’s government would “pay a heavy price” for the assult on Kirkuk.

KirkukThousands of Kurdish families fled Kirkuk to the Kurdish cities of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.

US: ‘Avoid additional escalatory actions’

The US¬†Defense Department, which has supplied and trained both the peshmerga and Iraqi army, urged its two allies in the war against the “Islamic State” (IS) “to avoid additional escalatory actions.”¬†It added that it¬†opposed destabilising actions that distract from the battle against IS militants.

Later, US President Donald Trump said the US will not take sides, but expressed disappointment at the escalating dispute between two allies.

Read more:¬†The Middle East’s complex Kurdish landscape

“We don’t like the fact that they’re clashing. We’re not taking sides,” Trump told reporters. “We’ve had for many years a very good relationship with the Kurds as you know and we’ve also been on the side of Iraq, even though we should have never been there in the first place.”

The Iraqi troops and the Kurdish peshmerga fighters have been engaged in a standoff since Saturday, when they took positions on opposite banks of a river on the southern outskirts of the city of Kirkuk.

Kurdish forces were given a deadline of 2 a.m. local time Sunday (2300 UTC Saturday) to surrender their positions and return to their pre-June 2014 positions.

Watch video03:39

Iraqi forces capture Kurdish positions near Kirkuk ‚Äď Campbell MacDiarmid reports

Turkey offers help against PKK

In a statement, the Turkish foreign ministry said on Monday it supported the Iraqi government in retaking control of Kirkuk, offering to aid Iraqi forces to oust Kurdish forces from the oil-rich city. “We are ready for any form of cooperation with the Iraqi government to end the PKK presence in Iraqi territory,” the ministry said.

Baghdad said on Sunday fighters from Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were present in Kirkuk among Kurdish peshmerga forces, in what it said amounted to a “declaration of war.”

Read more: In Iraq, minorities pin hopes on a Kurdish state

“It is impossible to remain silent” faced with “a declaration of war towards Iraqis and government forces,”¬†the National Security Council headed by the Iraqi prime minister said in a statement.

The PKK-affiliated ANF News Agency said its fighters had been called to mobilize and¬†form a “defensive line to protect the people.” The PKK has close ties with some Iraqi Kurdish parties, particularly the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Turkey’s offer also stems from its support for its ethnic cousins, the Turkmen, which reside in the Kirkuk province.

Iraqi army in Kirkuk. Iraqi forces roll by a oil production plant outside Kirkuk.

Kirkuk: In Kurdish hands since 2014

Abadi has demanded that Kurdish leaders disavow¬†the September 25 referendum, but the Kurds have rejected the demand. Baghdad¬†called the referendum “anti-constitutional.” Turkey, Iran and the United States were all against the vote.

After the referendum, the Iraqi parliament asked Abadi to use armed force to retake control of¬†Kirkuk, which is inhabited by Kurds as well as Sunni and Shiite Turkmen and Arabs. Last week,¬†Abadi said¬†he would accept a “joint administration”¬†with the Kurds in the province.

Read more: Opinion: Kurds find few friends in independence referendum

The Kurdish peshmerga have controlled Kirkuk since 2014, when it prevented the province’s oil fields from falling into the hands of IS after the Iraqi army collapsed. With Baghdad weak, the Kurds moved to expand territory under their¬†control outside the three provinces that officially make up the Kurdistan region.

The Kurds and Baghdad have long been in dispute over oil resources and revenue sharing. But the apparent collapse of the peshmerga within a day also led to bitter accusations between rival Kurdish parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan¬†and¬†Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party, highlighting factionalism that has plagued¬†the Kurdish camp.

US ‘not taking sides’

US¬†President Donald Trump said on Monday that the¬†US was not taking sides in the conflict. “We don’t like the fact that they’re clashing. We’re not¬†taking sides,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“We’ve had for many years a very good relationship with the¬†Kurds as you know and we’ve also been on the side of Iraq,” he
said.

Kurdish government representative in Washington, Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, said the US had already helped isolate the Kurds by publicly calling for them to postpone the September 25 referendum on independence that staretd the current dispute with Baghdad.

“With every step (Washington) emboldened Baghdad, Iran and¬†Turkey … each one of them thinking: ‘Well, so the Kurds are on
their own, we can do whatever we like’,” she told the news agency Reuters.

 

Watch video02:09

Independence for Kurds in Iraq? Baghdad says ‘no’

ls, cw/rt/jbh (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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