Kurdish chief Barzani resigns after bungled independence push


  • Masoud Barzani, the chief of the Kurdish individuals in
    Iraq, has resigned following violence at Kurdish
  • Kurdistan’s latest troubles began after Kurdish
    forces expelled ISIS from the area and held a referendum
    throughout which they overwhelmingly voted in favor of
  • Barzani blamed the US for offering arms to Iraqi
    forces, which violently pushed Kurdish forces out of the
    territory they gained through the anti-ISIS
  • The Kurds have been a key US ally within the combat towards

FILE PHOTO: Iraq's Kurdistan region's President Mbadoud Barzani gestures during a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (not pictured) in Erbil, Iraq April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari/File Photo
Kurdistan area’s President Mbadoud Barzani gestures throughout a
joint information convention with German International Minister Sigmar Gabriel
in Erbil


ERBIL/BAGHDAD Iraq (Reuters) – Iraqi Kurdish chief Masoud
Barzani stated he would surrender his place as president on Nov.
1, after an independence referendum he championed backfired and
triggered a regional disaster.

There was excessive drama on the Kurdish parliament, which was stormed
by armed protesters because it met to approve the veteran chief’s
resignation as Kurdish president. Some MPs have been barricaded in
their workplaces on Sunday night.

In a televised handle, his first since Iraqi forces launched a
shock offensive to recapture Kurdish-held territory on Oct.
16, Barzani confirmed that he wouldn’t prolong his presidential
time period after Nov. 1 “underneath any circumstances”.

“I’m the identical Masoud Barzani, I’m a Peshmerga (Kurdish fighter)
and can proceed to badist my individuals of their battle for
independence,” stated Barzani, who has campaigned for Kurdish
self-determination for almost 4 many years.

The handle adopted a letter he despatched to parliament by which he
requested members to take measures to fill the ensuing energy

The area’s parliament met within the Kurdish capital Erbil on
Sunday to debate the letter. A majority of 70 Kurdish MPs voted
to just accept Barzani’s request and 23 opposed it, Kurdish TV
channels Rudaw and Kurdistan 24 stated.

Demonstrators, some carrying golf equipment and weapons, stormed the
parliament constructing because the session was in progress.

Gunshots have been heard. Some protesters exterior the constructing stated
they needed to “punish” MPs who they stated had “insulted” Barzani.
Some attacked journalists on the scene.

A Kurdish official had informed Reuters on Saturday that Barzani had
determined at hand over the presidency with out ready for elections
that had been set for Nov. 1 however which have now been delayed by
eight months.


The area, which had loved unprecedented autonomy for years,
has been in turmoil for the reason that independence referendum a month in the past
prompted navy and financial retaliation from Iraq’s central
authorities in Baghdad.

In his handle, Barzani vigorously defended his resolution to carry
the Sept. 25 referendum, the outcomes of which “can by no means be
erased”, he stated. The vote was overwhelmingly for independence
and triggered the navy motion by the Baghdad authorities and
threats from neighboring Turkey and Iran.

He added that the Iraqi badault on Kirkuk and different Kurdish held
territory vindicated his place that Baghdad now not believed
in federalism and as a substitute needed to curtail Kurdish rights. 

US condemned

special forces YPG
Footage of US troopers
sporting Kurdish YPG patches, whereas preventing

Screenshot/Twitter by way of

Barzani condemned america for failing to again the
Kurds. “We tried to cease bloodshed however the Iraqi forces and
Well-liked Mobilization Entrance (Shi’ite militias) stored advancing,
utilizing U.S. weapons,” he stated.

“Our individuals ought to now query, whether or not the U.S. was conscious of
Iraq’s badault and why they didn’t stop it.”

Requested for response to Barzani’s resignation, a U.S. State
Division spokesperson stated: “I’d refer you to Kurdistan
officers for data on President Barzani. Additionally, we’re not
going to get into any non-public diplomatic discussions.”

Barzani has been criticized by Kurdish opponents for the lack of
town of Kirkuk, oil-rich and regarded by many Kurds to be
their non secular dwelling.

His resignation might badist facilitate a reconciliation between
the Kurdistan Regional Authorities (KRG) and Iraq’s central
authorities, whose retaliatory measures for the reason that referendum have
remodeled the stability of energy within the north.

Barzani has led the KRG because it was established in 2005. His
second time period expired in 2013 however was prolonged with out elections
being held as Islamic State militants swept throughout huge swathes
of territory in Iraq and Syria.

U.S.-backed Iraqi authorities forces, Iranian-backed
paramilitaries and Kurdish fighters fought alongside one another
to defeat Islamic State however the alliance has faltered for the reason that
militants have been largely defeated within the nation.

After the Kurdish vote, Iraqi troops have been ordered by the
nation’s prime minister Haider al-Abadi to take management of areas
claimed by each Baghdad and the KRG.

Abadi additionally desires to take management of the border crossings between
the Kurdish area and Turkey, Iran and Syria, together with one
by way of which an oil export pipeline crosses into Turkey,
carrying Iraqi and Kurdish crude oil.

The autumn of Kirkuk – a multi-ethnic metropolis which lies exterior the
KRG’s official boundaries – to Iraqi forces on Oct. 16 was a
main symbolic and monetary blow to the Kurds’ independence
drive as a result of it halved the area’s oil export income.

Iraqi security forces advance in military vehicles in Kirkuk, Iraq October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
safety forces advance in navy autos in


Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga began a second spherical of talks on
Sunday to resolve a battle over management of the Kurdistan
area’s border crossings, Iraqi state TV stated.

A primary spherical was held on Friday and Saturday, with Abadi
ordering a 24-hour suspension on Friday of navy operations
towards Kurdish forces.

He demanded on Thursday that the Kurds declare their referendum
void, rejecting the KRG supply to droop its independence push to
resolve a disaster by way of talks, saying in a press release: “We cannot
settle for something however its cancellation and the respect of the

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