Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that “Israeli flags” will not save it and all military and economic measures are on the table to oppose a secession of the Kurdistan Region from Iraq.
“Frankly, we did not give credence until the last moment that Barzani [President Of Iraqi Kurdistan] would make a mistake like this,” Erdoğan said on September 26 in Ankara according to Hurriyet Daily News. “This means that we were wrong. The decision, which was taken without a prior consultation or meeting, is a betrayal to our country in an era where our relations were at their best level in history.”
The KRG has used close ties with Turkey to use a pipeline from northern Iraq to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceylan to export oil. However, the KRG’s independence referendum held on September 25 faced a strong opposition from Turkey, Iran and the Iraqi Federal Government.
Erdogan said that the KRG “will be left in the lurch when we start imposing our sanctions” adding that Ankara would “close the oil taps, all [KRG] revenues will vanish, and they will not be able to find food when our trucks stop going to northern Iraq.”
“Who will recognize your independence? Israel. The world is not about Israel. You should know that the waving of Israeli flags there will not save you,” Erdogan added.
The only country that officially supports the KRG push for independence is Israel.