No Response Yet From Baghdad to Iraqi Kurds' Truce Proposal - Kurdish Official
15:20 25.10.2017(updated 21:50 25.10.2017)
An adviser to Iraqi Kurdistan's President Kifah Sinjari has spoken to Sputnik about Iraqi Kurdistan's position toward settling the conflict with the central government, following the September 25 independence referendum.
CAIRO (Sputnik) – The Iraqi government has not yet responded to Iraqi Kurdistan's cease-fire proposal, according to Kifah Sinjari, an adviser to the president of Iraqi Kurdistan.
"I think that the Kurdistan government will await an official response from the Baghdad authorities," Sinjari told Sputnik.
According to the official, the continuation of military actions is in the interest of neither side.
"The ball is in the federal government's court, and there is an opportunity to save lives," he concluded.
Sinjari pointed out that the clashes between the Iraqi forces and the Kurdish units might cause irreversible consequences.
The Kurdistan Regional Government has offered the country's central government a cease-fire and to engage in bilateral dialogue, expressing its readiness to "freeze" the results of the region's independence referendum.
The tensions between Baghdad and Erbil have escalated after the September 25 independence referendum held in the Kurdistan region, with over 90 percent of the Kurds in disputed areas supporting secession from Iraq despite strong opposition from Baghdad.
A number of states, including Turkey, Iran and the United States have condemned the independence vote. Moreover, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim claimed earlier this month that Ankara in coordination with Tehran and Baghdad could introduce sanctions against Iraqi Kurdistan.
Following the independence vote, Baghdad launched a military operation in the oil-rich Kirkuk province, disputed by both the central government and Iraq Kurdistan and de facto controlled by Kurdistan's Peshmerga military forces.
Within a day of the operation, the Iraqi forces gained control of most of Kirkuk, including oil fields and the administration building and have continued the operation, which has resulted in clashes with Peshmerga forces.
In its turn, Erbil has demanded the Iraqi troops' "immediate" withdrawal.
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