Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi rejected on Thursday a Kurdish proposal to freeze the referendum on independence in the Kurdistan Region and said “only a complete annulment of the referendum and the respect of the constitution” would allow the resumption of talks between Baghdad and Irbil.
Abadi was speaking Thursday from Iran following a regional tour that involved Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, in the framework of a campaign to gather support for his position against the referendum.
The Iraqi prime minister met with President Hassan Rouhani and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who expressed his country’s reservations regarding the presence of cooperation between Baghdad and Washington, while he supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, asserting that it was an important country in the Arab world.
On Wednesday, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) suggested to freeze the outcome of the referendum and open talks with Baghdad and to immediately stop military operations in the Kurdish region.
At the battlefield, clashes raged on Thursday between the Iraqi forces and Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq, leaving one leading Kurdish official dead.
The UN Security Council expressed concern over the latest developments between Baghdad and Irbil, affirming its support for the unity of the Iraqi territories.
Kurdish sources said that Peshmerga forces confronted on Thursday attacks launched by the Iraqi forces and armed members from the Hashd al-Shaabi and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on western and eastern Mosul and southern Irbil.
The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) reported the attacks on Peshmerga positions by Iraqi forces and Hashed militias backed by Iran.
"Iraqi and Iranian-backed PMF [Popular Mobilization Forces] are shelling Peshmerga positions from Zummar, North West of Mosul. Now advancing," the Kurdistan's security council tweeted on Thursday.
It said both Hashd commanders Hadi al-Amri and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were supervising the attacks against the people of the Kurdistan Region.