Baghdad says it won’t tolerate ‘2nd Israel’ as 1,000s of Iraqi Kurds hold independence rally

Crowds filled the streets of the Iraqi Kurdistan capital, rallying ahead of an independence vote this month. While some were waving the flag of Israel, which backs the Kurds’ aspirations, Baghdad says it won’t allow the creation of a “second Israel.”

On Saturday, the city of Erbil saw thousands of protesters turning up at a pro-independence rally, ahead of the scheduled September 25 vote. Colorful Kurdish flags hovered over the crowd as participants danced and cheered at a concert in Shanidar Park, with firecrackers briskly lighting up the sky.

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