In the latest example of escalating rhetoric on both sides, Iraqi MP Sami al-Askari, a State of Law member and top aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, has termed the Kurdistan Regional Government’s weaponry a “threat” to Maliki’s continued rule.
Askari made the comments during an interview with PressTV, saying the Kurdish weapons might reach “terrorists” and demanding that the Kurds unconditionally turn over all heavy weaponry to the central government.
This comes after a week of speeches by Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massud Barzani in which he warned that the Maliki government might attack militarily, and raised the prospect of Iraqi Kurdistan holding a vote on secession as soon as September.
Askari insisted this was simply a lie and that there are too many top Kurdish officials in Iraq’s central government to ever simply attack Kurdistan. He then went on to call for “regional help” in forcing the Kurds to disarm.