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Iraqi Kurds vote in favor of independence as crisis escalates

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, middle, attends a consultation of the Iraqi Parliament, in Baghdad, Iraq, Sept. 27. (Karim Kadim/AP)

IRBIL, Iraq — Kurds voted overwhelmingly to secede from Iraq, with 92.7 p.c approving a debatable referendum that was once held Monday, in step with an respectable tally launched Wednesday. While Kurds celebrated the end result in the streets of their semiautonomous enclave in northern Iraq, the bid for independence endured to roil Iraq’s central govt and robust regional neighbors Turkey and Iran and is shaping as much as usher in a length of contentious wrangling over its implementation. Early Wednesday, Iraqi lawmakers licensed Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to deploy troops to a disputed town in northern Iraq and suggested for prison motion in opposition to Kurdish leaders as a showdown escalated over the vote. The parliament also referred to as for the federal government to take regulate of all oil fields in the Kurdish area, bringing them beneath regulate of the ministry of oil. Several regional airways stated they’d droop flights to airports in the Kurdish area in an indication of Baghdad’s power to check out to punish and isolate the Kurds.
The vote has ended in a demanding standoff between the Kurdistan regional management and Baghdad, environment off a crisis that has spiraled past Iraq’s borders.  The transfer towards autonomy, a protracted liked dream for tens of millions of Kurds, was once vehemently hostile through the United States as smartly as Turkey and Iran, that have apprehensive about their very own restive Kurdish populations. Several regional powers have threatened to impose a raft of punishing sanctions to stop any more steps towards independence and power the Kurds to barter with Baghdad. Both Iran and Turkey have one after the other held army workout routines alongside their borders with the Kurdish area forward and for the reason that vote. Though it hostile the referendum and has since stated it’s disillusioned the Kurds went forward with it, the United States State Department stated on Tuesday it could no longer impact Washington’s long-standing partnership with the regional govt. [Kurdish bid for independence from Iraq emerges as regional flash point] The flight suspensions, through Lebanese and Egyptian carriers, got here after Abadi ordered Kurdish government to give up regulate of the airports to the central govt in Baghdad through Friday. If the order was once disregarded, he stated, flights to the airports can be stopped. In a speech to parliament on Wednesday, Abadi additionally demanded the annulment of the independence vote, pronouncing Iraq would “not allow any violation of the constitution.” 
“We will impose the rule of Iraq in all of the areas of the KRG, with the strength of the constitution,” he added. “There will be no fighting between the sons of one country, but we will impose the law, you will see.”  The parliament licensed Abadi to ship troops to Kirkuk, an oil-rich town this is claimed through Baghdad as smartly as the Kurdish area and has been a flashpoint in the competition for territory between the 2 governments. Lawmakers also referred to as for the prosecution of Kurdish officers chargeable for organizing the referendum, together with KRG President Masoud Barzani. Barzani has stated the referendum is nonbinding and is meant to kickstart stalled negotiations with Baghdad over Kurdish independence from a place of fairness. The two facets have sparred since 2003 over the sharing of earnings, borders and oil exports – with Baghdad continuously withholding bills to the Kurdish govt in reaction to alleged landgrabs through the Kurds.
Fahim reported from Istanbul. Mustafa Salim contributed to this file from Irbil, Iraq. Read extra: Today’s protection from Post correspondents all over the world Like Washington Post World on Facebook and keep up to date on international information

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