Iraqi Kurdistan Independence Referendum

In-depth Report:


(Home – Stephen Lendman). 

Contact at [email protected].

The referendum held on September 25 received overwhelming 93% support, Kurdish officials in northern Iraq calling the results binding. Turnout was around 80%.

Demonstrators celebrated in Irbil, the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) capital, chanting “Bye bye Iraq!”

Not so fast! Baghdad threatened to send armed forces to the region to take control of the area and its highly valued oil fields, producing hundreds of thousands of barrels daily.

Tens of thousands of well-armed Peshmerga fighters could challenge any intervention. Possible civil war could erupt.

Turkish President Erdogan threatened to close the oil pipeline, carrying crude from the region to the Mediterranean, demanding Kurdish leadership “abandon this adventure with a dark ending.”

Iraqi and Turkish forces announced joint military exercises – a dress rehearsal for joint intervention?

Baghdad, US and EU parliamentarians rejected the referendum, saying the results won’t be recognized, expressing support for Iraqi unity and territorial integrity.

The State Department said the following:

“The United States strongly opposes the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government’s referendum on independence, planned for September 25. All of Iraq’s neighbors, and virtually the entire international community, also oppose this referendum.”

The statement cynically ignored US support for partitioning regional and other countries, Britain endorsing the same policy, Russia and China against it.

Netanyahu cynically endorsed “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state” – polar opposite his opposition to Palestinian self-determination.

He hopes Kurdish independence aims can help Israel divide and dominate the region, easier with smaller weaker states.

Iran opposes Kurdish separatism, calling for Iraq’s territorial integrity to be preserved, days earlier suspending flights to and from the region to its territory.

The Security Council unanimously issued a statement voicing alarm over “the potentially destabilizing impact” of the plebiscite, urging “dialogue and compromise” with Baghdad.

Calls for Kurdish independence are longstanding. An unofficial 2005 plebiscite in northern Iraq got 98% support.

In early June, Kurdish President Masoud Barzani announced the referendum would be held on September 25, Kurdish officials saying a “yes” vote automatically means independence.

Ahead of Monday’s vote, Barzani said

“(w)e are at a junction in the road, either to choose independence or subordination and oppression,” adding it’s “too late to postpone the referendum.”

A truly independent Kurdistan remains a distant unfulfilled dream. Iraqi Kurds have semi-autonomous status, what’s next after its referendum still uncertain.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem offered to negotiate Kurdish autonomy in his country – once the scourge of US-supported terrorism is defeated.

In the meantime, a region in turmoil remains the top priority to address, unlikely to be resolved any time soon because peace and stability defeat Washington’s imperial objectives.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at [email protected].

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page

Become a Member of Global Research

Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]