Written by mouood
Iraq’s top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has voiced opposition to the secession of the northern Kurdistan region from the mainland, warning of the negative repercussions of such “unilateral steps.”
Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s representative Ahmed al-Safi said in a Friday sermon on his behalf in the holy city of Karbala that the senior cleric wants the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) “to return to the constitutional path” pursuing self-determination for the Kurds.
The senior leader also warned against the unfavorable repercussions of separation and division in the Iraqi nation, stressing that this would pave the way for foreign interference in the affairs of the country.
The Kurdish vote “is an attempt to divide Iraq and take its northern part by setting up an independent state,” said his message, adding that all parties should respect the Iraqi constitution.
The “unilateral steps” toward dividing Iraq will lead to internal and external reactions that will have consequences on our “dear Kurdish citizens and could have more dangerous repercussions,” said Grand Ayatollah Sistani.
The cleric also called on the Iraqi government and parliament to preserve the rights of Kurds.
In defiance of Baghdad’s stiff opposition, the KRG held a non-binding referendum on secession from the mainland. Kurdish officials said over 90 percent of the voters said ‘Yes’ to separation from Iraq.
With the exception of Israel, all major regional and international parties have voiced serious concerns over the secessionist move, saying it would compound the problems of the country, which is already busy with counter-terrorism operations against ISIS.
Iraqi Kurdish officials have been harshly criticized for turning a deaf ear to Baghdad’s objections and going ahead with the unconstitutional plebiscite before any negotiations and consultations with the central Iraqi government.
Tensions have been running high between the central Iraqi government and the Kurdish leadership over the vote, which has prompted Baghdad and regional states to take a number of punitive measures against the semi-autonomous region.
From 6:00 p.m. (1500 GMT) on Friday, international flights to and from Iraq’s Kurdistan region were set to stop after Baghdad imposed a ban in retaliation for the region’s unconstitutional plebiscite.
Almost all foreign airlines halted flights to the airports of Erbil, the local capital of the Kurdistan region, and Sulaimaniya, in compliance with a notice the Baghdad government.
Written by mouood
A senior general with Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the Takfiri Daesh terror group will be uprooted in two months.
The countries fighting Daesh will in two months celebrate its collapse, said Major General Qassem Soleimani, who commands the IRGC’s Quds Force, the IRIB reported on Thursday.
“Iran, Russia, Syria, and Iraq should hold this celebration,” said the general at a ceremony held in memory of an Iranian military adviser martyred in Syria.
The commander further slammed the US for its inaction in the face of Daesh terror activities and said Washington “has made no move to eradicate” the terror outfit
In recent months, the Iraqi and Syrian armies have been dealing heavy blows to Daesh, ridding the terror group of its main strongholds in the neighboring Arab countries.
At Baghdad and Damascus’ respective requests, Iran has been providing military advisory support to the countries’ militaries in their counter-terrorism operations.
Russia has also been providing the Damascus government with military assistance in the face of terrorists.
Soleimani further said there are three reasons why Iran is standing by Syria in the fight against terrorism.
First, he said, the Takfiri outfit – which brands those not subscribing to their radicalism as “apostates” -- “consider killing us to be an imperative.”
Secondly, the general said, the terrorists seek to use Iraq and Syria as a bridge leading to Iran, noting, “We could not sit around to see Iraq and Syria fall, and then they reach us.”
And thirdly, the Islamic Republic has to defend itself against the enemy’s goal of obliterating its independence and existence, he added.
On June 7, Daesh gunmen mounted almost simultaneous assaults on Iran’s Parliament and the Mausoleum of the late Founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini. The twin attacks killed 17 people and injured over 15 more,
In response, the IRGC fired six ballistic missiles into Daesh bases in the eastern Syrian province of Dayr al-Zawr later in June, leaving at least 65 terrorists dead.
In August, General Qassem Soleimani said Iranian forces would not rest until they have taken out every last terrorist from the face of the Muslim world after Daesh reportedly beheaded an Iranian military adviser in Syria.