‘Kurdistan becomes haven for terrorists: Iraq PM

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Friday, 11 July 2014

IraqPM-nouri-malikiThe Iraqi prime minister has accused the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of becoming a safe haven for terrorist groups fighting the central government in Baghdad.

In his weekly televised address, Nouri al-Maliki said the troubled region has turned into an operation center for the Takfiri militants and Ba’athist terrorists.

The Iraqi leader added that his government cannot remain silent while seeing that Arbil has turned into a safe haven for the al-Qaeda linked groups.

Al-Maliki says Kurds have taken advantage of the circumstances and expanded their grip on Iraqi lands.

The premier also warned the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) against a decision to hold a referendum on the fate of Kirkuk. Al-Maliki said the KRG is burning bridges with Baghdad, which would backlash, as both the militants and Kurdish leadership will eventually lose.

In recent weeks, Iraqi Kurds have expanded their territory by up to 40 percent as the Takfiri militants of the ISIL seized areas in the west and north of the country.

The recent comments come after remarks by the president of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masoud Barzani, who has said that measures are being taken for holding a referendum on Kurdistan’s future within months.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed support for Kurdish independence.

Premier al-Maliki has strongly rejected the attempts by the KRG to hold the referendum as unconstitutional, saying that it would “damage them a lot.”

The Iraqi government has also repeatedly slammed Kurdistan region for exporting oil without Baghdad’s consent. Baghdad says it has the sole right to export the country’s crude, but the Kurds say they are entitled to market the resources of their own region.

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