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Iraqi Kurdistan votes in independence referendum

Discussion in 'Greater Asia & Middle East' started by Agent_47, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    At polling stations here there was a sense of history in the making. Some began queuing last night. The Kurds say the referendum is an example of democracy in action. Instead of opposing them, they believe that Western powers should be giving them strong support.

    A man in his 60s, in traditional dress, told us people had been counting the months, days and minutes until they could cast their ballots. "It is the proudest moment of my life," he said.

    Some came to vote carrying pictures of loved ones killed battling so-called Islamic State (IS).

    "My husband's blood wasn't shed for nothing" said one woman, adding that her family had not slept for days, worrying that the referendum would be cancelled.

    Whatever comes next this vote could reshape the Middle East. That's just what neighbouring states - with their own Kurdish minorities - fear.

    Not all Kurds were expected to vote "yes", though.

    The Change Movement (Gorran) and Kurdistan Islamic Group parties said they supported independence but objected to the timing and organisation of the referendum, while businessman Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir launched a "No4Now" campaign because of the economic and political risks of secession.

    And in the disputed city of Kirkuk, the local ethnic Arab and Turkmen communities called for a boycott. As voting ended on Monday night, a curfew was imposed on the city centre and non-Kurdish districts amid fears of unrest.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned on Sunday that the referendum "threatens Iraq, peaceful co-existence among Iraqis, and is a danger to the region", and vowed to "take measures to safeguard the nation's unity and protect all Iraqis".

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionKexit? Iraqi Kurdistan referendum explained - by the voters themselves
    Mr Abadi's government has said the Kurdistan Region's international airports and border crossings must be returned to its control, and asked all countries to "deal only with it on matters of oil and borders".

    The Iraqi parliament has also demanded that the prime minister "deploy forces" to Kirkuk and disputed areas controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

    Neighbouring Turkey and Iran also vehemently objected to the referendum, fearing it would stoke separatist feeling among their own Kurdish minorities.

    Ankara said on Monday that it would consider the result of the referendum "null and void" and intended to form closer ties with Iraq's central government. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also threatened to close his country's sole border crossing and the Iraqi Kurds' vital oil export pipeline.

    Tehran called the vote "illegal and illegitimate", having banned all flights to and from the Kurdistan Region a day earlier. However, it denied its land border was closed.

    Celebratory mood
    By Sally Nabil, BBC News, Kirkuk

    Kirkuk's population is largely a mix of Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds, but only the Kurds were casting their ballots because other ethnic groups are boycotting it.

    Security was quite heavy outside the polling stations as a result of the clashes seen in the city in recent days, but inside people seemed relaxed and proud.


    Image copyright Reuters Image caption Kurds danced on the streets of Kirkuk, a city also claimed by the central government
    Many were holding Kurdish flags, sweets were being handed out to celebrate, and some children were dressed in traditional Kurdish costumes.

    "When I go to Baghdad I feel like a second-class citizen, I don't feel like I belong there," another voter told me. "Now it is time for us to have our own state."

    The UN Security Council warned on Thursday that the vote could hamper the fight against IS in Iraq, in which Kurdish forces have played a critical role, and efforts to ensure the return of 3 million displaced Iraqis.

    But Kurdistan Regional President Massoud Barzani accused the international community of having double standards.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionMassoud Barzani during a BBC interview
    "Asking our people to vote in a peaceful way is not a crime," he said on Sunday. "If democracy is bad for us, why isn't it bad for everyone else?"

    Mr Barzani said the referendum would not draw borders, and that afterwards there could be talks with Baghdad for a year or two. But he stressed that the "failed partnership" with the "theocratic, sectarian state" of Iraq was over.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41382494
     
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  2. Flyboy!

    Flyboy! Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  3. Scotlander

    Scotlander Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  4. Darth Marr

    Darth Marr Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Hasn't Iraq promised to declare war on Kurdistan if they gain independence ? Have to wait and see if the west will support the Kurds.....
     
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  5. Anish

    Anish BANNED BANNED

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    Its an exhuasted military and most fighting done on Iraqi territory so they need to rebuild themselves before thinking of attacking Kurds or Saudis
     
  6. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Captain FULL MEMBER

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  7. Darth Marr

    Darth Marr Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Considering the Baluchistan issue is being raised by western commentators, the above map is very much a possibility, assuming everything falls in place. The next few years will be interesting. Saudi's war with Yemen and the collapse of its govt. could possibly lead to a separate Islamic state in Mecca and Medina.
     
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  8. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Captain FULL MEMBER

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    All the more better for us, the more these middle eastern countries splinter into smaller countries,their wealth and power would be divided along with oil reserves. OIC will be a toothless organization and won't be able to fund Wahabism and jihad in India.Plus smaller countries won't try to face a giant like India.Pakistans support will be gone along with Pakistan broken into many countries. USA will be relieved as it can have its say in Middle East and concentrate on China more. It will be a Win Win for India and USA. In the meantime,India would have switched to cleaner energy and electric cars and make Oil redundant sending back the Arabs back to Bedouin camel caravan days.India can then exert pressure on Sub-Continental Islamists and mould them as per our convenience.
     
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  9. Ankit Kumar 001

    Ankit Kumar 001 Major Technical Analyst

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    May Kurdistan gain the freedom.

    I want it more since its against the wishes of Turkey, and despite all of their barking, they can't do a thing of independence is granted...

    You see lately the Turks have got into more anti India Stance than ever.... Downfall of Islamic Turkey is what should happen.
     
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  10. Darth Marr

    Darth Marr Captain FULL MEMBER

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    I have a dream, before I die I want to see the Middle east run out of oil and see the Chaos there after. Especially the Saudi's.
     
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  11. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Your dream will come true even earlier than you think,we would go for clean energy and Electronic vehicles as every year the batteries get cheaper and give more power and endurance,at some point in future 5-10yrs it will be viable to buy a electric car with mileage,power,speed and endurance better than oil run cars.
    At that point,there wont be any buyers for Oil and the Middle east itself will collapse.Already they got a jolt since past 2 years oil prices dropping to 50$ per barrel from 110$
    Saudis will sooner or later disintegrate as Kurdistan and other countries come up,Democracy will come to Middle east.
     

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