Turkey Halts Training for Iraqi Peshmerga Over Referendum

Declares Kurds Have Thrown Themselves 'Into the Fire'

Turkey has confirmed that it has halted all training operations in northern Iraq for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. They added that the move was a response to the Kurdish vote to secede from Iraq.

Turkey has been training the Peshmerga throughout the ISIS war. The training has at times been a sore spot for the Iraqi government, as they didn’t give the Turkish military permission to deploy trainers into the area.

Now, with Turkey threatening to join a war with Iraq and Iran against the Kurds, it’s unsurprising that they don’t intend to keep training those Kurds they might soon be fighting. The move is also another chance for a high-profile “protest” of the vote.

Indeed, Turkish officials declared the backers of Kurdish independence of having “thrown themselves into the fire” with their vote. Turkish spokesman Bekir Bozdag added that more steps would follow against the Kurds, coordinated with the Iraqi central government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.