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Turkey President Erdogan declaration would tend to confirm the harsh and unremitting position that Turkey, Iran and Iraq have been taking since the beginning on the issue of Iraqi Kurds independence. However, considering the Kurds will and resolve, as well as their recent history of being a major actor in the war against the Islamic State, and highly probable feeling of being thus treated unfairly, a triple blockade is highly unlikely to stabilize the situation.
On the contrary, we may expect that the Iraqi Kurds will not relent but fight to see the results of the referendum implemented and their independence achieved. War would be likely to ensue.
Two major uncertainties remain that are most likely to impact how the situation is likely to evolve. The first factor could be stabilising or to the least manage to freeze the now highly dangerous escalating spiral: Russia’s position and diplomatic exchanges with the various actors involved.
The second factor could be, on the contrary, escalating as the Kurds in Syria, despite complex relationships with their brothers in Iraq, are certainly following very closely what is happening and taking stock of the situation and its evolution. The Syrian Kurds have no less will and resolve to achieve their aims: a new type of truly autonomous polity, which does not endanger the unity of Syria. As a result, the steps they may take, especially as they could further heighten Turkey’s fears could further escalate the situation and broaden its scope.
ANKARA (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey would soon close its border with northern Iraq and shut its air space in response to last week’s Kurdish independence referendum. “Flights to northern Iraq have already been suspended, the air space and borders will also close soon,” Erdogan said in a speech in the Turkish capital, Ankara.