Iraq's Kurdish Region Votes In Controversial Independence Referendum

On August 29, 22 of the 24 councilors present in the 41-member Kirkuk council voted in favor of holding the Kurdish independence referendum.

But the United States has always been opposed to Kurdish moves towards independence, fearing it could lead to the break-up of Iraq and bring even more instability to an already volatile Middle East. In Kirkuk, the epicenter of the territorial dispute, the governor imposed a nighttime curfew after the vote.

In the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, Kurds sang and danced as they flocked to polling stations. So far, 136 global observing teams, 142 worldwide media outlets, and 35 global individual observers have taken part in this process, Sherwan Zrar, the spokesperson of Kurdistan's Independent High Referendum and Electoral Commission (IHREC) told Rudaw on Saturday.

Iraqi Kurds have voted in an independence referendum opposed by the central Iraqi government.

Kurdish leaders say if Iraq's Kurdish region votes "Yes", it'll give them a mandate to negotiate secession from Iraq.

Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, a top military adviser to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, said Iran regarded the referendum as "treason" against the Iraqi Kurds.

He also pledged to start negotiations with Baghdad officials as soon as the result of the votes is known.

In a strongly worded statement, Turkey said on Monday that it does not recognise the referendum and declared its results would be "null and void".

Carson Breaks With Trump In Alabama Senate Race
He called the investigation into Russia's possible role "the Russian hoax". "Though, we may go a little higher than that". A "state of the art missile defense system" is being designed here, Trump said, adding, "Thank you very much, Huntsville".

Amla, Perera lead World XI to T20 win
In the end, the momentum lost during his stay could have proven to be costly for the World XI if not for Perera's late assault. In the first match of Independence Cup, he leaked as many as 51 runs and then scored a mere 17 in a pursuit of colossal total.

Syria: Russian rockets strike ISIS in Deir-Ez-Zor, ministry
The monitoring group said the US -led worldwide coalition, which is supporting non-government forces, was partly to blame. Meanwhile, a Kurdish-led offensive, backed by the US-led coalition, is underway in the northern part of the province.

However, it is created to give Masoud Barzani, who heads the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), a mandate to negotiate the secession of the oil-producing region.

The regional government has always been at odds with Baghdad over disputed territories like the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which are controlled by Kurdish forces but outside their autonomous zone.

The referendum has raised alarm in Iraq's neighbours - Turkey, Iran and Syria - over concerns it could encourage their own Kurdish minorities to break away. These areas also have large non-Kurdish populations.

"The land borders between Iran and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq are open and these borders have not been closed", the ministry said, adding that only air borders between Iran and this region were now closed. He also added: "We could arrive suddenly one night".

Iraq and other neighbours of the Kurds "have to understand that we have done this step by step", Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman told Al Jazeera.

"Only through independence can we secure a future where we will not have the past atrocities", he said.

Even though the vote is nonbinding, the Kurdish leadership sees it as a way to send a signal to Baghdad about the region's desire for independence.


Popular
  • BJP is rattled especially with recent universities win: Congress

    BJP is rattled especially with recent universities win: Congress

    Mr Modi also said that their use of harsh language can not be a substitute for substantive charges against his government. Jaitley also said that the Prime Minister will announce an important scheme for the poor at 6:30 pm on Monday.
    LDP Lawmaker Fukuda to Join Koike Aide's Planned Party (News)

    LDP Lawmaker Fukuda to Join Koike Aide's Planned Party (News)

    Besides the North Korea crisis, the polls also come at a time when the country is facing a sluggish economy which needs a boost. Kyodo News said he plans to dissolve the lower house of parliament at the start of an extraordinary session on Thursday.
    Dollar close to 2015 lows as conflicted Fed prepares policy update

    Dollar close to 2015 lows as conflicted Fed prepares policy update

    USA crude oil prices CLc1 edged up 2 cents to settle at $49.91 a barrel, after hovering near multimonth highs. Building permits rose by 5.7% to a rate of 1.3 million, slightly higher than an expected 1.22 million.
  • Mourinho suggests Chelsea weren't ready to pay £75m for Lukaku

    Mourinho suggests Chelsea weren't ready to pay £75m for Lukaku

    The England global threatened in the early goings and forced United goalkeeper David de Gea into making a few good saves. You don't touch the ball for minutes and minutes and minutes and then have an important moment in the game.

    Google's billboard hints at October 4 reveal date for Pixel 2 series

    As per the recent reports , the Pixel 2 smartphone contains the squeezable frame, and this feature resembles the HTC U11. It clearly reveals the caption "Ask more of your phone" along with the Google "G" branding below followed by the date.
    Odell Beckham Jr. practices for the first time in three weeks

    Odell Beckham Jr. practices for the first time in three weeks

    However, the Giants had plenty of time to make adjustments to the run game, but nothing significant has ever happened. There were a few times when Manning didn't put the ball into the air and give Marshall a chance to make a play.
  • Cooperation among SAARC countries at risk: Sushma Swaraj

    Cooperation among SAARC countries at risk: Sushma Swaraj

    All this is to say that if Japan has its economic and commercial interests in India, it has similar interests in Pakistan as well. What have you (Pakistan) produced? "Pakistan's Prime Minister spoke of a "Comprehensive Dialogue" between our two countries.
    Adidas Overtakes Jordan To Become #2 Sneaker Brand In US: NPD

    Adidas Overtakes Jordan To Become #2 Sneaker Brand In US: NPD

    The Jordan brand has declined as it continues to lose its appeal of exclusivity , an allure that it retained for decades. "I've never seen a brand in the sneaker industry grow this fast", said NPD Group sports industry analyst Matt Powell .
    Olive Garden unlimited pasta pass is back

    Olive Garden unlimited pasta pass is back

    If Olive Garden has its way, you may soon be dining on unlimited pasta while getting ready for a trip to Italy. New this year is the " Pasta Passport to Italy ", which includes an all-expenses paid trip for two to Italy.
  • Zinke Recommends Shrinking Six Monuments Including Bears Ears

    Zinke Recommends Shrinking Six Monuments Including Bears Ears

    Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke recommended at least four land monuments be shrunk and that 10 sites allow commercial activity. Tim Freeman, president of the Association of O&C counties, hadn't seen the leaked memo and was hesitant to comment on it.
    Arsenal boss Wenger on draw at Chelsea: We could have won

    Arsenal boss Wenger on draw at Chelsea: We could have won

    After the 0-0 draw against Arsenal Conte said: "The last 20 minutes Hazard played very well". Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey told Sky Sports: "We needed that against a top team".
    Erdogan defends missile deal with Russian Federation

    Erdogan defends missile deal with Russian Federation

    Citing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan , TASS and Hurriyet report that a deposit in the $2,5bn deal has already been paid. "They have gone insane because we made a deal for S-400s".

CONNECT