Iraqi Kurdistan votes "yes" for independence, sends message to neighbors

Today, Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani announced a victory in the independence referendum and sent a message to his neighboring countries.
Barzani Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

Today (Tuesday), Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani announced that the results of the Kurdish independence referendum were "yes". Approximately 78% voted out of the 5.2 million people who were eligible to vote.

In a televised statement, Barzani called upon Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to negotiate and "respect the will of millions of people."

"We might face difficulties," he added. "Instead of threatening us with sanctions, open a serious dialogue with us."

al-Abadi Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

Iraq, on the other hand, claims that the referendum isn't legal as it didn't take place only in the Kurdish region but also in other places in northern Iraq. The US, along with Turkey, Iran and many European countries, also opposed the referendum and warned that it might lead to instability as all sides continue to fight ISIS.

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