Damascus rejects Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum

26 September, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • Main opposition CHP says gov't should be 'cool-headed' on KRG referendum

Kousha noted that the vote on independence is not just a domestic issue, but could spark further fighting among Kurds and the central governments in Syria and Turkey, which could lead to a broader regional war.

The final results would be announced within 72 hours.

Kurds showed off their ink-stained fingers as they left polling stations on September 25, showing they had voted.

The disputed areas are the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, as well as parts of Nineveh, Diyala and Salaheddin provinces.

In Sulaimaniyah, second city of the autonomous region, 40-year-old Diyar Omar came to cast his vote also wearing traditional clothes.

A total of 12,072 polling stations have opened at 8:00 local time (0500 GMT) Monday where more than 5.3 million are eligible to vote.

The referendum has been condemned by the USA, Iran, Turkey and a number of other countries, as well as the countries of the Arab League.

The referendum today was proceeding peacefully but there were fears of potential unrest, especially after lawmakers in Baghdad demanded that troops be sent to disputed areas where voting was taking place.

The Turkish leader hinted at barring Iraqi Kurds from exporting gas via Turkey, saying "We own the valve".

Erdogan vowed not to allow a "terror state" to be established along the border with Turkey, Xinhua reported.

"We stress again that we will take all measures arising from global law and the Turkish parliament's authority in the face of every kind of threat to our national security in Iraq generally", it said. The foreign ministry in Tehran said its land border with Iraqi Kurdistan remained opened however, reversing an earlier statement.

Kurdish-led regions in Syria held elections for community leaders on Friday, the first in a three-phase vote that will culminate in the election of a parliament and the establishment of a federal system of government.

Iraq, Turkey, Iran, the USA, and the United Nations have all spoken out against the KRG referendum, saying it will only distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.

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