During a meeting between Kurdish officials chaired by Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region, the date of the independence referendum of the Iraqi Kurdistan was set on September 25. According to Kurdish officials, the referendum will be held in three Iraqi provinces that include parts of Kurdistan along with other “Kurdish areas” in Iraq, including Kirkuk city, the towns of Makhmour, Khanaqin and Sinjar.
Hoshyar Zebari, a high-ranking official in Kurdistan, said that the vote “yes” does not necessarily mean independence. Zebari added that the aim of the referendum is to obtain a better deal to determine the fate of the Kurdish region after the elimination of ISIS in Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that the referendum at the moment is not in the interest of the Kurds nor Iraq.
Abadi said last April: “The desire of our Kurdish brothers to establish their state is a right for them … and no one has the right to dissuade them from doing so ” and added, ” But holding a referendum at this time is not right, because the war is still going on, the situation in the region is not stable, and some neighboring countries believe that this step represents a threat to its national security.”
Turkish Prime Minister Ben Ali Yildirm on Friday described the plan of Iraqi Kurds to hold a referendum on independence as “irresponsible,” adding that “the region has enough problems.” Yildirim also said that “Turkey wants all Iraqis to live together as one nation and adding another problem to the region is not right.”
Syria, Iran and the United States also oppose the full independence of the Kurds in Iraq. Moreover, it is believed that Kurdistan is difficult to survive as a country that doesn’t have a sea root and has no good relations with the surrounding countries, as well as, a large part of the Kurdistan region’s expenses are from the Iraqi general budget.