The referendum of Kurdish independence from Iraq could “result in a civil war”, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mouloud Jawish Oglu warned yesterday.

“We are looking forward to seeing the region retreat from its referendum plan regarding its independence from Iraq,” Jawish Oglu said, adding:

Holding the referendum at a time when the country is experiencing all of these issues will make the already bad conditions even worse, and could perhaps even result in a civil war.

The President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, announced on 7 June that a referendum on “independence from Iraq” will be held on 25 September.

The referendum is not binding. It will see residents of the three provinces in the Kurdish region of Erbil, Sulaymaniah, and Dohuk, as well as other disputed areas – including Kirkuk – questioned about whether or not they wish to secede from Iraq.

The United States and other Western countries fear that the referendum would be a “deviation from the pressing priorities such as defeating [Daesh] and achieving stability”. It is also opposed by regional powers such as Germany, Turkey and Iran.

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