BBC: Iraqi Kurds Decisively Back Independence in Referendum

BBC News reports that 92 percent of the people of northern Iraq, including Kurds and non-Kurds, favor pursuing independence for Kurdistan in a non-binding referendum. Turnout was more than 70 percent. Iraq’s prime minister, urging a cancellation of results, encouraged dialogue. “Kurdish leaders say the ‘Yes’ vote will give them a mandate to start negotiations on secession with the central government in Baghdad and neighbouring countries,” the article reports. Iraq did not respond well to the results. The prime minister demanded control of Kurdistan’s border crossings and two airports, as well as oil revenues. The parliament recommended deploying troops to areas with oil held by Kurdish forces. “Kurdish Peshmerga fighters took control of Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic region claimed by the Kurds and Arab-led central government, when jihadist militants from so-called Islamic State (IS) swept across northern Iraq in 2014 and the Iraqi army collapsed.” The international community discouraged the referendum, but also a harsh response. Numerous Kurds live in Syria, Iran and Turkey and Iraq. Since 2005, Iraq’s constitution has recognizes the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government. – YaleGlobal

BBC: Iraqi Kurds Decisively Back Independence in Referendum

People of northern Iraq favored independence for the Kurdistan Region by 92 percent in a non-binding referendum
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

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Kurds in the Middle East

Iraq                 ~20 percent

Syria               ~15 percent

Turkey            ~20 percent

Iran                 ~10 percent

Copyright © 2017 BBC.