• Saturday 26th September 2020

Iraq Kurdistan Independence Referendum Planned

“From now on, we won’t hide that that’s our goal. Iraq is effectively partitioned now.

Iraq Kurdistan independence referendum planned

Leader of the Kurdish region of Iraq Masoud Barzani: “The goal of Kurdistan is independence”

The leader of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan has told the BBC he intends to hold a referendum on independence within months.

Masoud Barzani said that Iraq was in effect already partitioned.

He said that while the Kurds would play a part in a political solution to the country’s crisis, independence was what he described as their natural right.

Iraq’s parliament meanwhile meets for the first time since April’s elections and in the midst of a major insurgency.

It faces the task of creating a unified government to deal with the escalating political crisis.

The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen considers whether the Iraqi government can prevent the break up of the country

Huge swathes of northern Iraq are now in the hands of Sunni insurgents, including Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) militants, who have declared an Islamic caliphate in their newly conquered territories.

‘Tragic situation’

In the past month many Iraqi troops have fled northern cities in the face of sweeping advances by Isis rebels, allowing the Kurds to move into previously disputed areas, such as the oil-rich region of Kirkuk.

Kurds are willing to play a part in a political solution to Iraq’s crisis even though the country was in effect already partitioned, Mr Barzani said Independence is natural right for Kurdish people, Mr Barzani said

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