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Iraq signals further reprisals against Erbil with threat to takeover Kurdish mobile phone operators Open in fullscreen

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Iraq signals further reprisals against Erbil with threat to takeover Kurdish mobile phone operators

Kurdish phone operators in Iraq have been given an ultimatum by Baghdad [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 9 October, 2017

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Iraq has demanded mobile phone operators in the Kurdish region move their offices to Baghdad, as the blow-back of Erbil's independence referendum continues.
Iraq could take control of mobile phone operators in the Kurdish region and have providers move their offices to the capital Baghdad, the federal government announced on Monday.

The latest act of retaliation against Erbil by the Baghdad government follows last month's independence vote in Iraq's Kurdish territories.

The statement is likely to apply to Korek and Asiacell, which are based in the Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG] capital Erbil and the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya.

"The government committee for national security issued a decision that all mobile phone networks must be under federal control and should be moved to Baghdad," Baghdad said on Monday, according to Reuters.

It did not say what action would be taken if the operators don't apply.

Iraqi-Kurdistan went ahead with a controversial referendum last month despite threats from its neighbours.

Independence was overwhelmingly backed by Kurdish voters.

Iraq ordered an international flight ban on Kurdish regions following the vote, and hinted at further reprisals.

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