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Ex-Kurdistan president: ‘Iraq and region on verge of explosion’

January 8, 2020 at 8:50 am

President of Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (IKRG) Masoud Barzani speaks during a meeting with a group of journalists, artists and authors at the Saad Abdullah Palace Conference Centre in Erbil, Iraq on September 06, 2017. ( Yunus Keleş – Anadolu Agency )

Masoud Barzani, former president of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, warned yesterday of the repercussions of the assassination of Iran’s Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, stating that Iraq and the region are “on the verge of explosion”.

Last Friday, Soleimani and the leader of the Iraqi the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis were killed in a US air raid near Baghdad International Airport.

This development resulted in a major escalation between the United States and Iran, two allies of Baghdad, amid widespread fears in Iraq that the country has turned into a battleground between Washington and Tehran.

Barzani, who is the president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said recent events in Iraq and the region are “very alarming”, calling for “prioritising reason and logic in order to reach solutions, and not be drawn into unhelpful emotions and arguments.”

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He added that “the situation now is on the verge of explosion, as the ongoing problems are complicated and out of control.”

Barzani stressed that “parties with a sense of responsibility should find a reasonable way out, which suits everybody, by giving priority to reason and wisdom.”

He continued: “In case of reaching a settlement in this direction, we will spare no effort in helping to find solutions. Nonetheless, we will not agree to push the country into a proxy war and an unknown fate.”

Last night Iran fired missiles at a US air base in Iraq which hosted US President Donald Trump in December 2018, and another facility in the Kurdish city of Erbil.

About 5,000 US soldiers are deployed in military bases throughout Iraq as part of the international coalition to fight Daesh.