Kurds vote in favour of independence from Iraq

ANI | Updated: Sep 28, 2017 02:24 IST

Irbil [Iraq], September 28 (ANI): Iraqi Kurds have voted overwhelmingly in favour of declaring independence from Iraq in a historic referendum.

According to official results announced by the Kurdish electoral commission on Wednesday, more than 92 per cent of the roughly 3 million people who cast valid ballots on Monday voted "yes" to independence.

The poll took place despite vehement opposition from the Iraqi government, which described it as unconstitutional and authorised use of force against Iraqi Kurdistan.

The outcome, thus, comes as a step towards independence for the semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq and areas it claims, and puts Kurdish authorities on a collision course with their counterparts in Baghdad.

The Kurdistan Regional Government says the "referendum will give a mandate for talks to secede from Iraq, although Baghdad has already ruled out such talks."

Numbering 30 million, Kurds make up a sizable minority in a number of Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey.

The Kurds have never had a nation of their own, despite nearly a century of Kurdish nationalist movements in various countries. (ANI)