Iraqi Kurdistan in historic independence vote

Photo: Getty Images


Voters are heading to the polls in an independence referendum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the BBC reports.

Iraq’s prime minister has warned he will take “necessary measures to preserve the unity of the country”.

Western countries have expressed concern that the poll could provoke fresh conflict, and distract from the fight against so-called Islamic State.

But Kurds, who have long fought for their own state, have pressed ahead. The result, however, is non-binding.

The leader of Iraqi Kurds, Massoud Barzani, says that independence is the only way to guarantee the safety of his people.

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