Iraqi Kurdish referendum 'illegitimate,' Tillerson says


Northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has called on the United Nations and the federal government in Baghdad to lift an air embargo imposed on the region following this week's controversial independence referendum.

"To ignore this reality benefits neither us, nor our Kurdish brothers in Iraq", he said, calling on Iraqi Kurds to "wake up from this dream" of independence.

The statement did not give more detail or indicate specifically whether Iraqi forces were planning to move toward the external border posts controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from the Iranian and Turkish side. "Baghdad's response to the referendum was very aggressive, so we don't know what will happen", the spokesman said.

"A joint military exercise between Iran's armed forces and units from the Iraqi army will be held in the coming days along the shared border", he said.

Iraqi soldiers on Tuesday also took part in a Turkish military drill close to the Iraqi frontier.

The United States does not recognize the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan U.S.

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Similarly, Washington also urged neighbouring countries to "reject unilateral measures and the use of force".

In his statement Mr. Tillerson reiterated that Washington continues to support a "united Iraq".

"We are not ready to discuss or have a dialogue about the results of the referendum because it is unconstitutional", he said in a speech on Monday night.

In a sign of the growing anxiety in Iraq's power centers over the vote, Sistani's representative used his weekly Friday sermon to criticize the referendum as destabilizing, arguing that it invites worldwide meddling in Iraq's affairs. The UN Secretary-General's special representative in Iraq, Jan Kubis, confirmed this position yesterday to the host minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim al-Jaafari, he said.

Kurds celebrate to show their support for the independence referendum in Duhok, Iraq, September 26, 2017.

Iran has responded positively to the request of Iraq's central government for lending support for preservation of the country's territorial integrity.