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    Kurdish children hold a flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and banners during a demonstration against the exclusion of Syrian-Kurds from the Geneva talks in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli on February 4, 2016

    Kurds Should Not Hold Independence Vote Amid Anti-Daesh Campaign - McGurk

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    The Kurdistan regional government should not go forward with a planned referendum on independence scheduled for September 25 due to the complexities of keeping a cross-cultural, ethnic military coalition focused on its mission to defeat Daesh, according to US special presidential envoy Brett McGurk.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Kurdistan regional government should not go forward with a planned referendum on independence scheduled for September 25 due to the complexities of keeping a cross-cultural, ethnic military coalition focused on its mission to defeat Daesh (outlawed in Russia), US special presidential envoy Brett McGurk said during a press briefing.

    "We do not think the referendum should happen in September," McGurk said on Thursday. "Right now [Daesh] is not finished and we have to be clear about that."

    McGurk explained that the referendum held on such a fast time line would be destabilizing for Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting against Daesh.

    "[Daesh] are in Tal Afar just south of the Kurdistan region and Hawija just west of Kirkuk. The Hawija operation will be very complex and it will involve Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Pershmerga, so this is not the time to hold a referendum in this area."

    Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani met on June 7 with all the political parties in Kurdistan and they agreed on a September date for the referendum, according to published reports.


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    independence referendum, Daesh, Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Brett McGurk, Syria
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