Turkey Desperate to Stop Kurdish Vote; 41 Killed in Iraq

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım submitted a motion to the Turkish parliament on Friday asking to extend for another year Turkish military authority in Iraq and Syria where Kurdish-dominated regions are holding elections. Turkey currently has troops stationed in Iraq that Baghdad wants out. Turkey views an independent state in either country as a threat to its own security due to the large population of Kurds there.

Turkey has continued to call on Iraqi Kurdistan to cancel its independence referendum, threatening Erbil with sanctions, but Kurdish President Massoud Barzani has rejected all demands to stop the vote. The Kurdish supreme council of the referendum underscored that sentiment by declaring that the voting would take place as scheduled on Monday. However, the councilmembers also intimated that talks with Baghdad were still possible on Saturday.

In Syria, voting was held in Kurdish controlled areas. It is the first of three elections that they hope will establish a government system in the autonomous region. It is unrelated to the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan; however, the Syrian government is as opposed to this election as Baghdad is to the independence referendum.

Security forces are in control of 39 villages in the Hawija region and 30 more in Shirqat.

At least 41 were killed and 11 were wounded:

Three people died in a bombing at a booby-trapped home in Sinjar.

Near Khanasour, clashes between Shi’ite militiamen and members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) took place. Three militiamen and two P.K.K. members were killed. Seven militiamen were wounded.

A lawyer was killed in Husseiniyat al-Rashidiya when a bomb planted on his car blew up.

A bomb in Mahmoudiya wounded four people.

In Shirqat, 23 militants were killed.

An airstrike on Basateen al-Mukhisa left five militants dead.

Three suicide bombers were killed in Garma.

A suicide bomber was killed in Salah ad Din province.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.