Iraq army ‘to intervene’ if Kurds’ referendum escalates

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Iraq is prepared to intervene militarily if the Kurdish region’s planned independence referendum results in violence, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in an interview.

If the Iraqi population is “threatened by the use of force outside the law, then we will intervene militarily,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press news agency on Saturday.

Iraq’s Kurdish region plans to hold the referendum on support for independence from Iraq on September 25 in three governorates that make up their autonomous region, and in disputed areas controlled by Kurdish forces but which are claimed by Baghdad.

“If you challenge the constitution and if you challenge the borders of Iraq and the borders of the region, this is a public invitation to the countries in the region to violate Iraqi borders as well, which is a very dangerous escalation,” Abadi said.