Israeli support for Kurdish independence 'harmful to Kurds'

Photo: Israeli support for Kurdish independence 'harmful to Kurds' / Israel

Israeli politicians' calls for the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in Iraq's north are "harmful to Kurds' interests," head of a Kurdish research institute told the Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

"For years we have been voicing that there are no established ties between Israel and the Kurdish administration; however, following Netanyahu's recent remarks, some countries have started to think that we are backed by Israel," Farid Asasard from Sulaymaniyah-based Kurdistan Center for Strategic Studies said.

On June 29, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq as part of an Israeli plan to form an alliance between Tel Aviv and moderate forces across the region.

The U.S. and Turkey have opposed an independent Kurdish state and voiced support for a unity government in Iraq.

"The Israeli discourse promoting an independent Kurdish state is bringing damage, not support, to the Kurdish issue," Asasard said.

Iraq's Kurds - who enjoy a great deal of autonomy in the country's north - have taken advantage of a nation-wide chaos triggered by the advance of Sunni militant groups led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and began to mull secession from Iraq after taking full control of the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk.

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