On September 16, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani said at public event in Dahuk city that he didn’t receive any valid alternative for the upcoming Kurdistan region independence referendum on September 25 from any side, according to Kurdish sources.
“We said before, but the time is now late for that, that if there was a better and more guaranteed alternative in place of referendum… then we welcome that. But nobody did that. Nobody brought a better alternative,” Barzani said at an event in support of the referendum in the Nineveh Plains.
Barzani also said that doubting the legitimacy of the upcoming Kurdistan region independent referendum by some sides is “not acceptable”.
“We do not take legitimacy from anyone, we take legitimacy from the people of Kurdistan, and from the blood of our martyrs,” Barzani said.
In his speech Barzani attacked the negative reaction of the Kurdistan region neighboring countries. Barzani also stressed that Kurdistan region has proven that it is not a threat to any country around it over the last 25 years.
“It has been 25 years that we have proved that we are a factor for peace, prosperity, and coexistence. We are not a threat to anyone … But one thing that is surprising to me is: I wish I knew since when have you [Kurdistan region neighboring countries] become so worried about the territorial integrity of Iraq, the sovereignty of Iraq, and the constitution of Iraq? This is important to me since these days these [things] have become important to our neighbors.” Barzani said.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in an interview with the Associated Press (AP) that he will used military force if the Kurdistan region independent referendum results in violence.
If Iraq is “threatened by the use of force outside the law, then we will intervene militarily,” Abadi told the AP.
Abadi also stressed that the Kurdistan region independent referendum is against the Iraqi constitution. Furthermore, Abadi argued that the independence of Kurdistan might give other countries an excuse to intervene in Iraq.
“If you challenge the constitution and if you challenge the borders of Iraq and the borders of the region, this is a public invitation to the countries in the region to violate Iraqi borders as well, which is a very dangerous escalation,” al-Abadi said.
Israel is the only country in the world that so far has stressed its support of the upcoming Kurdistan Region independence referendum. On September 13 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in an official statement that Israel support an independent Kurdish state in Kurdistan region.
“Israel rejects the PKK and considers it a terrorist organization, as opposed to Turkey, which supports the terror organization Hamas. While Israel rejects terror in any form, it supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own,” the official statement says.
Syrian experts believe that Israel considers an independent Kurdistan Region as a possible foothold for operations on the Iranian border. It’s for sure too early to predict how Israel will benefit from such situation, however, there are no doubts that Israel and an independent Kurdistan Region will have a very special and close relationships.