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02 October 2017, 12:58 | Myrtle Vega
Deadline approaches for Iraq's Kurds to hand over control airports
The exercises will be conducted at the level of at least four crossing points iranian side of the border, " he said, after a meeting of commanders in iran.
The High Referendum Council that lobbied for the independence vote which took place on Monday is to meet in Erbil today with the particiption of Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, likely to put the word "independence" in the council's name.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has refused to hand over control of its border crossings to the Iraqi government, as demanded by Iraq, Iran and Turkey in retaliation for the referendum.
Meanwhile, reports indicated that both Turkey and Iran had approved the presence of Iraqi military forces on their territories, however no official confirmation of the news had been issued.
Iraqi prime minister Haider Al Abadi said, "Any measure taken by the government will take into account the interests of the Kurdish people".
Earlier this week, Iraqi soldiers also took part in a joint military exercise with Turkey.
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Global flights were indefinitely suspended from Erbil and Sulaimaniya airports in Iraqi Kurdistan at 6 p.m. Friday (11 a.m. ET) by order of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority. "Baghdad's response to the referendum was very aggressive, so we don't know what will happen", the spokesman said.
Turkey and Iran, which have their own restive Kurdish populations, opposed the referendum, as did the United States.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also addressed Iraq's neighbors, to refrain from what he called "unilateral actions and the use of force".
Turkey has repeatedly threatened to impose economic sanction, effectively cutting their main access to global markets, and has held joint military exercises with Iraqi troops on the border.
"An independent state is not being founded in northern Iraq, but on the contrary a continuously bleeding wound is being opened", he said.
Iran has responded positively to the request of Iraq's central government for lending support for preservation of the country's territorial integrity.
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