The Iraqi military offensive against Iraqi Kurdistan has been on pause since Friday, but may soon be resuming, according to Iraqi Joint Operations Command, who are accusing the Kurds of using the ceasefire talks to “buy time.”
Iraqi officials say the Kurds are in particular delaying the transfer of control of border crossings between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Iraq ordered all crossings closed and all flights banned out of Kurdish airports.
They believe the Kurds are trying to hold off on any more concessions while keeping the talks going, to give the Peshmerga time to set up new defenses, and some Iraqi officials seem keen to just resume the offensive and take more territory.
This perhaps should be unsurprising, as Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi has indicated the government intends to revoke all of the Kurdish government’s autonomy to punish them for having a referendum supporting independence, and the Kurds don’t seem to be getting anything back in this exchange. Though the Peshmerga hasn’t appeared effective in resisting Iraq’s military, there’s no reason for the Kurds to be in a rush to accept what amounts to an absolute surrender while talks are still ongoing.
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