Turkey’s President Erdogan threatens to invade Iraq and cut off oil pipeline after Kurds vote for independence

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‘President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened to invade Iraq, after the country’s Kurds voted for independence in a non-binding referendum.

Issuing a strongly-worded speech, Mr Erdoğan said fighting the Iraqi Kurdish bid for independence was “a matter of survival”.

The Turkish leader also suggested he could cut off a pipeline that carries oil out of Iraq, to increase pressure on an autonomous Kurdish region.

Mr Erdoğan has long struggled against a Kurdish insurgency in southeast Turkey, which shares a border with northern Iraq.

Baghdad also did not recognise the referendum, which it sees as a Kurdish attempt to exert more control over the country’s oil reserves.

Mr Erdoğan’s indication that he could cut the pipeline came shortly after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Ankara could take punitive measures involving borders and air space against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over the referendum.’

Read more: Turkey’s President Erdogan threatens to invade Iraq and cut off oil pipeline after Kurds vote for independence

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