Qubad Talabani, the Washington representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq and the son of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, has said any attack by Iraqi forces against the country's autonomous region would justify Kurdish independence from Iraq.
Talabani said the central Iraqi government's move to send reinforcements toward a disputed city, Kirkuk, is “dangerous.” “Any attack on Kurdistan would in my mind justify Kurdish independence from Iraq,” he said in a Twitter post on Friday.
“Why be part of a country that a) cuts your budget, b) constantly undermines the constitution and c) then attacks you,” he tweeted.
His statements are the latest sign of heightened tensions over Iraq's declaration of a new military command in the area, including disputed segments. The Kurdish region has an autonomous government.
The commander of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces also recently warned that his troops might attack Iraqi government soldiers "at any minute," after Baghdad sent tanks and armored vehicles toward Kirkuk.
Mahmoud Sankawi said his forces are on high alert and will resist if Iraq's central government continues sending forces toward the city. He said 30 tanks and several dozen armored vehicles were heading there overnight.