Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), told CNN International that "Iraq is obviously falling apart", Hurriyet Daily News reported.
"And it's obvious that the federal or central government has lost control over everything. Everything is collapsing - the army, the troops, the police," Barzani said during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour. "We did not cause the collapse of Iraq. It is others who did. And we cannot remain hostages for the unknown," he added.
"Iraq Kurdistan Pres Barzani gives me first concrete sign Iraq really is breaking up + Western policy behind the curve," Amanpour tweeted late June 23 when announcing the interview.
Barzani had told Sky News Arabia TV on April 8 that an independent Kurdish state is to be established, pointing out that they are moving towards a confederation with Iraq.
Beginning late on June 9, militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) overran most of one Iraqi province and parts of three others north of Baghdad.
Iraqi forces made a "tactical" withdrawal from three western towns on June 22, as Sunni militants widened an offensive that has already overrun swathes of territory.
"The Kurds of Iraq can decide for themselves the name and type of the entity they are living in," Huseyin Celik, a spokesman for Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), reportedly told the Kurdish online news outlet Rudaw last week.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid applauded "Turkey's move to welcome an independent Kurdistan on its border" on June 19.