Iraqi Kurdistan to 'Pay Price' for Independence Referendum - Turkey

Iraqi Kurdistan to 'Pay Price' for Independence Referendum - Turkey

Iraqi Kurdistan to 'Pay Price' for Independence Referendum - Turkey

Iraq's parliament voted on Tuesday in opposition to the referendum, authorizing the prime minister to take all measures to preserve Iraq's unity.

Al-Maliki did not say why the governor was sacked, but the move came after Kirkuk's provincial council voted to take part in a referendum on Kurdish independence slated for later this month.

But hours later at a pro-referendum rally in Zakho, Barzani told those gathered that they would vote on September 25 as planned, according to local media.

The United States and Western allies pressed Iraqi Kurdish leaders to ditch a "very risky" independence vote on Thursday, presenting an alternative plan in an attempt to avoid conflict between the oil rich region and central government in Baghdad.

Iraqi neighbors - Turkey, Iran and Syria - oppose the referendum, fearing that it could fuel separatist moods among their own Kurdish minorities.

Turkey, which has a large Kurdish population and is battling Kurdish insurgents, has forged close ties to Iraq's autonomous region but opposes an independent Kurdish state.

"The right [to remove the governor from office] belongs to the people of Kirkuk, not the Iraqi parliament", the statement read.

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Ankara is also concerned about the presence of the Syrian Kurdish militia People's Protection Units (YPG) in the border area, fearing an autonomous Kurdish region could also emerge in northern Syria.

Karim said the US Envoy encouraged him to keep calm after the today's vote to remove him.

Kareem has long riled the federal government with his aspirations for Kurdish independence.

Suhail gave no details about what Kareem accused of.

"The president of the Kurdistan region has made it clear that the referendum will be held", including in the disputed territories.

Kurdish MPs in Iraq's parliament boycotted Thursday's vote, which was attended by 173 lawmakers in Baghdad.

"This referendum is ill-timed and ill-advised, it is not something we can support", he said, regarding the US' backing for the Sep.

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