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Baghdad Announces New Measures against Kurdistan

Baghdad Announces New Measures against Kurdistan

Monday, 9 October, 2017 - 11:30
A man holds a printed banner of Kurdistan region referendum in Irbil, Iraq August 26, 2017. (Reuters)

The Iraqi government announced in a statement on Monday new measures against the government in the Iraqi Kurdistan region in wake of last month’s independence referendum.

In a sign that the crisis is escalating between the two sides, Iraq’s government committee for national security, which includes Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, said that the measures are aimed at imposing restrictions on the autonomous region.

Monday’s measures would seek to impose control over Kurdistan-based mobile phone operators and move their headquarters to the capital Baghdad.

There was no details on how the measure would be implemented and whether their licenses would be withdrawn by the central government if they didn’t comply.

“The government committee for national security issued a decision that all mobile phone networks must be under the federal control and should be moved to Baghdad,” it said.

Baghdad reiterated on Monday its call on Iran and Turkey to cease all trade operations with Kurdistan, especially oil exports.

Previous measures by Iraq included halting international flights from the Irbil and al-Sulaimaniya airports.

Iran, which had also opposed the referendum, has cut oil routes towards Kurdistan.

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