A ban placed on the Iraqi Kurdistan region’s major telecommunications networks has finally been lifted, essentially allowing communication services to continue for Kurdish citizens. Iraqi Communications and Media Commission (CMC) cut Kurdistan’s landlines under governmental order. The ban was put into place shortly after the Kurdish Regional Government attempted to hold an independence referendum last October. Simultaneously, Iraqi government supported PMU and PMF militias invaded Kirkuk and took control of the city while all International Kurdish airport travel has been shut down.
Spokesman for the Ministry of Transport and Communications in the KRG, Mohammed Salih told local media, “Today I received a letter from Baghdad regarding re-connection of communication networks to landlines in Kurdistan Region.” The decision comes as a surprise to Kurdish officials and as a relief to the autonomous regions citizens. Salih elaborated further that Asia, Zain, and Korek networks would all be re-connected. Salih had been the head of a delegation that went to confront the Iraqi central government about the decision initially. The delegation met with the CMC and held a meeting where they eventually, “reached a result. They requested some documents and we submitted them.”
The lack of communication networks caused emergency services a great deal of concern for fear of risking Kurdish lives in the event they needed to dial for help. The increase in federal control over the Kurdish region is a clear cut control measure. They are slapping Kurdistan on the wrist for even entertaining the notion that they could separate from the Iraqi nation. Iraq was quick to act in multiple ways to maintain control of the Kurds. They cut off logistics, took down communications, and imposed military dominance while capturing major avenues of economic income for Kurdistan; the oil fields in Kirkuk. Basically Iraq has made Kurdistan dependent on them for any semblance of continued existence; they’ve stopped just short of open acts of aggression, similarly to the Baathist era of Saddam Hussein.