Turkey is preparing for a possible declaration of independene by the Iraqi Kurdistan Region following the September 25 referendum.

On September 18, Anara kicked off military drills in the Silopi and Habur areas of Sirnak province, near the border with Iraq, the Turkish Armed Forces said in a statement.

The drills area includes the Habur border crossing linking Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. According to experts, Turkey uses the drills as a pretext to deploy more military equipment and contentrate troops on the border with Iraq ahead of the Kurdistan Region independence referendum.

Turkey, Iran, the US, the UN as well as the Iraqi Federal Government are against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) plans to hold the independence referendum on September 25 that should turn the Iraqi Kurdistan Region into an indepdnent state. The only country that officially supports the KRG’s idea is Israel.