Iraqi Kurds decisively back independence in referendum
People living in northern Iraq voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence for the Kurdistan Region in Monday’s controversial referendum.
The electoral commission said 92% of the 3.3 million Kurds and non-Kurds who cast their ballots supported secession.
The announcement came despite a last-minute appeal for the result to be “cancelled” from Iraq’s prime minister.
Haider al-Abadi urged Kurds to instead engage in dialogue with Baghdad “in the framework of the constitution”.
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.