Turkey threatens to blockade Iraq’s Kurds

BAGHDAD (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested that Turkey, Iran and Iraq are considering blockading Iraq’s Kurdish region by closing its airspace and borders after the Kurds’ voted for independence last week.

Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara on Thursday: “All airspace will be closed, flights have already been banned… Soon the borders will be closed too.”

Erdogan says the Iraqi Kurdish region’s leader, Masoud Barzani, who spearheaded the independence referendum, has endangered the security of the whole region.

Erdogan said: “We won’t allow our region and our country’s security to be placed in danger just because some people want to realize their childhood dream.”

More than 90 percent of Iraq’s Kurds voted for independence in the referendum, which was rejected as illegal by Iraq’s central government and its neighbors.