Kurd fighters block roads to Mosul fearing Iraqi troop movements and violence
Source : NewsBharatiDate : 12-Oct-2017
Baghdad, October 12: Kurdish Peshmerga forces blocked roads from Iraqi Kurdistan to the country’s second city Mosul for several hours in response to Iraqi defence movements. The two main roads connecting Erbil and Dohuk to Mosul were cut with sand embankments as a precautionary measure.
However, the barriers were removed hours later when the situation turned normal. The move came after Kurdish authorities said late on Wednesday they feared Iraqi government forces and allied paramilitary units were preparing to launch an assault on the autonomous northern region.
"We're receiving dangerous messages that the Hashed al-Shaabi [paramilitary forces] and federal police are preparing a major attack from the southwest of Kirkuk and north of Mosul against Kurdistan," the Kurdistan Regional Government's Security Council said.
The warning came amid escalating tensions between Kurds and central authorities in the wake of Kurdistan Referendum. However, Baghdad and Erbil have been locked out since voters in Kurdistan overwhelmingly opted two weeks ago for independence in a referendum the central government called illegal.
Meanwhile, Iraq has cut off ties with Kurdistan, while Turkey and Iran have threatened to close borders and block oil exports. In fact, in a statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he clearly said, “We will gradually close borders with Northern Iraq if Kurdistan becomes an independent state.”