USA urges Kurdish parties to work for united Iraq

USA urges Kurdish parties to work for united Iraq

USA urges Kurdish parties to work for united Iraq

"Such incitement by Kurdish channels is unacceptable", the prime minister asserted.

However, Kurdish regional authorities denied the crossing had been handed over. Barzani had spearheaded the referendum.

Clashes began in the Kurdish parliament yesterday as Mr Barzani presented his resignation letter and asked for his powers to be distributed between parliament, the government and the judiciary.

The protesters broke into the assembly and attacked lawmakers and journalists until police subdued them.

Iraq's Kurdish region has found itself increasingly isolated after holding a nonbinding independence referendum last month that was opposed by Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and the Kurds' Western allies. Within weeks, a backlash from the vote revealed Barzani had miscalculated. The region lost almost half of the territory that had been comfortably under Kurdish control for years, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

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The region's airspace was closed to worldwide commercial flights, Turkey threatened the use of military force, and both Iran and Turkey threatened to close border crossings vital to the landlocked region.

He blamed the central government in Baghdad, which had dismissed the Kurdish vote as illegal, accusing it of escalating tensions.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi ordered his forces to recapture all territory held by the Kurds outside the borders of their autonomous region, and most of it was seized this month within a matter of days.

As Iraq's military crumbled in the face of Islamic State group advances in 2014, Kurdish forces took control of Kirkuk. However, as of Wednesday, he will no longer be president of the region. Elections were scheduled for November 1 but were suspended after the loss of Kirkuk.

"Negotiations are still ongoing", said a Kurdish official in the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, Erbil.

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