The Turkish Army Organizes Military Exercises to the Border with Iraq
Just a week before the Iraqi Kurdistan Independence Referendum, the Turkish Army is organizing unexpected military exercises near the Iraqi border, daily Daily Sabah reports, referring to a statement from the Ankara Ministry of Defense.
The maneuvers begin on Monday, September 18, near the town of Silopi, in the province of Shirnak. Ankara's military did not provide details about the teachings but assured that anti-terrorist operations in the region would be conducted in parallel with the maneuvers, FOCUS News Agency added.
The referendum on the independence of the Iraqi Kurds will be held on 25 September. Even if it is recognized as valid, the plebiscite will not lead to Iraqi Kurdistan's independence, as it has no legal force. However, local authorities say they will use it to exert pressure on the Baghdad government to sit on the negotiating table and discuss with them the question of separating the autonomous region. Ankara opposed the referendum, saying it would harm the territorial integrity of Iraq and have negative consequences for security in the region.
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