Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday declared that the Iraqi army would not be used against the Kurdish people.
“We won’t use the army against the people and we won’t wage a war against the Kurds,” al-Abadi said in televised comments broadcast on Iraqi state television.
He went on to stress that the Iraqi armed forces were devoted exclusively to providing public security inside Iraq and protecting the country from foreign threats.
“It is our responsibility to safeguard Iraq’s unity,” he asserted.
Tension has steadily mounted between Baghdad and northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) since Sept. 25, when Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of disputed areas -- voted on whether or not to declare independence.
In the immediate aftermath of last month’s illegitimate poll, Baghdad banned international flights from entering KRG-controlled areas and closed all foreign diplomatic missions based in the Kurdish region.