Iran to lift border curbs with Iraq's Kurdish region in coming days

In 1987, Saddam launched the Anfal campaign which saw nearly 180,000 Kurds killed and more than 3,000 villages destroyed.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani has confirmed he will be stepping down, dissolving his position as president of self-ruled northern Kurdish region and distributing his dutuies between the Kurdish prime minister, parliament and the judiciary.

Tehran already re-opened the Bashmagh crossing last week.

He said in a letter to parliament that he rejects an extension of his term as presidency, but will remain a Peshmerga, dedicated to protecting and strengthening Kurdistan.

"They have defeated Daesh in Mosul, but that doesn't mean Daesh is defeated in Iraq", he said, noting that operations to root out extremists have taken place in the region of Rawa and al-Qaim along the Syrian border.

The address followed a letter he sent to parliament in which he asked members to take measures to fill the resulting power vacuum.

MASOUD BARZANI: (Through interpreter) What also surprised us was those who are listed by the terrorists were using American Abrams tanks against us in front of American eyes, attacking Kurdish people.

Baqeri also said if Kurdistan implemented its plan to break away from Iraq, "there would be bloodshed in Iraq and neighboring countries would be affected".

Born in 1946, soon after his legendary father, Mulla Mustafa, founded the Kurdistan Democratic Party to fight for Iraqi Kurds' rights, Mr Barzani fought in the peshmerga for decades. "We have to be ready to conduct that life-saving surgery for whatever comes through the door".

Pictures of US soldiers wearing Kurdish YPG patches, while fighting ISIS. They managed to repair relations at the time with the help of the United States.

"We decided to become good neighbors since we failed to become true partners", he said. This has raised a lot of questions among the Kurdish people. Rudaw's Sanger Abdulrahman also reported the tension came after Barzani's statement was read saying he does not want to continue his post. The governments in Baghdad and Irbil seem incapable of resolving this issue.

Barzani has led the KRG since it was established in 2005. "The heroic Peshmerga and people of Kurdistan should know that I have respect for the heroic Peshmerga".

The Iranian government has announced plans to reopen all its borders intersecting with Iraq's Kurdistan region in few days' time.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Major General Baqeri said the restrictions imposed by Iraq on the borders with the Iraqi Kurdistan Region will be removed in the coming days.

A Kurdish video journalist with a channel backing Iraqi Kurdistan's leader Massud Barzani was stabbed to death at his home overnight in disputed Kirkuk province, a security source said today.

Which brings us to another problem with the KRG's decision to organize the referendum in disputed territories.

Zaid Al-Ali is a senior adviser on constitution building in the Arab Region for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and is the author of "The Struggle for Iraq's Future: How Corruption, Incompetence and Sectarianism Have Undermined Democracy", (Yale University Press, 2014).

(Derechos de autor © 2015. Todos los derechos reservados.)

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