Iraq is effectively partitioned: Kurdish leader
Masoud Barzani, the president of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), has announced plans for holding a referendum on independence for the region following support by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Kurdish independence.
In an interview with the state-run British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Tuesday, Barzani said that measures are being taken for holding a referendum on Kurdistan’s future within months.
“Everything that’s happened recently shows that it’s the right of Kurdistan to achieve independence,” Barzani told the BBC.
“From now on, we won’t hide that that’s our goal. Iraq is effectively partitioned now… We’ll hold a referendum and it’s a matter of months,” he added.
On June 29, two days before the comments by Barzani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed support for the creation of an independent Kurdish state.
“We should... support the Kurdish aspiration for independence,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who are aided by senior military commanders from Iraq’s Ba’ath party backing slain Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, have attacked Iraq’s northern provinces with the aim of capturing the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
According to informed sources, decision-making meetings for the attack were held inside Turkey, and, in addition to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the US, England and Barzani were privy to the plan for partitioning Iraq.
Barzani has cooperated with the ISIL militants and commanders from Iraq’s Ba’ath party to attack three northern Iraqi provinces despite the fact that Saddam’s regime launched a chemical attack on Halabja and other areas in Iraq’s Kurdistan region in March 1988, killing around tens of thousands of people there.
The crisis in Iraq escalated after the ISIL militants took control of Mosul on June 10, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of Baghdad.