Iraqi Kurdistan referendum: High turnout in independence vote

Large numbers of people have taken part in a landmark vote on independence for Iraq’s Kurdistan region, amid growing opposition both at home and abroad.

Votes are still being counted, with a big victory for “yes” expected.

Kurds say it will give them a mandate to negotiate secession, but Iraq’s PM denounced it as “unconstitutional”.

Neighbours Turkey and Iran, fearing separatist unrest in their own Kurdish minorities, threatened to close borders and impose sanctions on oil exports.

The US state department said it was “deeply disappointed” that the vote went ahead.

“We believe this step will increase instability and hardships for the Kurdistan region and its people,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

  • Brett McS

    This is the Iraqi Kurds “Brexit”, and the US State Department is still stuck in the swamp.

    • So are the vast majority of western states.

    • UCSPanther

      The Arab states are due for a change. Iraq, Syria and Jordan are constructs, similar to Yugoslavia.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Netanyahu has said that Israel will be the first to recognize Kurdish independence. An alliance between the two is guaranteed to shake up the order in the region.

  • tom_billesley

    Leftists will be against a Kurdistan as it would upset Turkey, Iran and the Arab states, and in favour of a Catalonia, being nostalgic about the Spanish Civil War.