Iraq says coalition forces will leave Kurdistan, if Baghdad asks

The Coalition is willing to remove its forces from any location in Iraq at the request of Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, noting that the US-led international forces are present in the country at the consent of the federal government.

“They have informed us that ‘if you want us to leave this or that area, we will leave,’” Abadi said on Tuesday of the Coalition forces who are stationed in several locations in Iraq, including in the Kurdistan Region where they provide assistance and training to the Peshmerga.

Rudaw English contacted the coalition for comment but had not yet received a reply by time of publication.

In the wake of Kurdistan’s vote for independence from Iraq, Baghdad has enacted a number of measures aimed at imposing some level of federal authority over the Kurdistan Region and limiting Erbil’s contact with international parties.

The Iraqi parliament earlier requested foreign missions present in the Kurdistan Region to move their offices to other locations in Iraq. None of the more than 30 representations and consulates have so far done so.

The Russian consulate and the US Department of State both said they have not received such a request from Baghdad.

On October 1, the German consulate in Erbil tweeted “We are still here,” adding they are “fully motivated & working” on important diplomatic issues. On October 5, it announced the arrival of new Deputy Consul General Helena Merks to Erbil.

Baghdad also imposed a ban on international flights in and out of the Kurdistan Region. Domestic flights are still operating.

Source: Rudaw

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