Iraqi Kurds Vote on Independence as Neighbors Warn of Conflict

25 Sep 2017   Iraq

Poll on statehood opposed by Iraq, Iran, Turkey, U.S. Kurdish officials not expected to push for immediate secession Iraqi Kurds went to the polls Monday for a referendum on independence, an ambition pursued by Kurdish nationalists for more than a century that’s fueling tensions in a region predominantly opposed to the move. The ballot is taking place in three provinces ruled by the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq, as well as potentially in disputed areas around the oil hub of Kirkuk. It asks one question — “Do you want the Kurdistan region and the Kurdistani areas outside the region’s administration to become an independent state?” — and their answer is almost certain to be “yes.” Voting ends at 6 p.m. local time. Photographer: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images Though that outcome wouldn’t automatically trigger secession or even immediate demands for it, the repercussions would be felt far […]

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