Tensions rise as Iraq Kurds defy Baghdad in historic independence vote

IKBY President barzani we are ready to have constructive conversations with Iraq

Four Kurdish personnel killed in IED blast in Kirkuk

Reuters reports that "final results were expected within 72 hours".

An Iraqi lawmaker says the country's parliament has approved several tough measures in response to the Iraqi Kurds' contentious vote on support for independence from Baghdad.

People across Iraqi Kurdistan cast their vote on September 25 in a non-binding independence referendum organized by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Kousha noted that the vote on independence is not just a domestic issue, but could spark further fighting among Kurds and the central governments in Syria and Turkey, which could lead to a broader regional war.

Karim al-Nuri, a head of the Badr Brigade which forms part of the powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary units, suggested the group was ready to deploy to "Kirkuk and the disputed zones occupied by armed gangs, outlaws who do not respond to the army command".

One polling station that Jane visited in Kirkuk today is in an area primarily home to Arabs and Turkmen.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday threatened to halt these oil exports, angrily denouncing an "illegitimate" referendum.

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Broadcasting watchdog RTUK ruled that Rudaw - a channel considered close to Iraqi Kurd leader Massud Barzani - Kurdistan 24 and Waar TV, should be removed from Turksat, Dogan news agency reported.

The high-ranking Iranian official added that even if the Kurdish people voted "yes" for the independence of the region, Iraq's central government, parliament and military forces would not accept the result.

He again urged Iraqi Kurdish authorities to take a step back and appeared to threaten a possible cross-border operation.

"We reject any action that leads to the fragmentation of Iraq..."

Iran's foreign ministry has insisted that its border with Iraqi-Kurdistan remains open, reversing an earlier claim that stated the crossing has been closed.

Along with Baghdad, Turkey, the US, Iran and the United Nations have all spoken out against the poll, saying it will only distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.

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