World News

Kurdistan never intended to engage in war with Iraq - KRG

CAIRO (Reuters) - The ‭Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) never intended to engage in a war with the Iraqi army, minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the KRG department of foreign relations, told broadcaster CNN in an interview.

There is a need for dialogue between KRG and Iraq so as to reach a common understanding, Bakir said, according to a transcript of the interview published on KRG’s website, adding the dispute was not about oil or the national flag but about the future of two nations.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have retreated to positions they held in northern Iraq in June 2014 in response to an Iraqi army advance into the region after a Kurdish independence referendum, a senior Iraqi commander said on Wednesday.

The Baghdad central government considers the Sept. 25 Kurdish independence referendum illegal, especially as it was held not just in the autonomous KRG region but in Kirkuk and other adjacent areas that Peshmerga forces held after driving out Islamic State militants in 2014.

Reporting by Hesham Hajali; Writing by Yasmin Hussein and Muhammad Yamany; Editing by Alison Williams