Iraq & Iran rattle sabres in military exercise near Kurdish border

Iraq & Iran rattle sabres in military exercise near Kurdish border
By Robert Hackwill
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The Kurds nervously eye joint Iraqi and Iranian military exercises near their border.

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Iran says it has begun a joint military drill with Iraq near the international borders of Iraq’s northern Kurdish region.

The commander of the ground forces of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, General Mohammad Pakpour, was quoted as saying “Iran and Iraq have common enemies and they need to ensure the security of their own borders against threats.”

Iran has already closed its borders and stopped flights to Iraqi Kurdistan airports following a referendum vote which supported independence from Iraq on Monday.

Truck drivers transporting crude oil from Kurdish Iraq to Iran have been stuck on the border for eight days. The director of the Bashmakh border gate on the Iraq side says an Iranian delegation told him they will close the border for at least two more days.

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