MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Referendum on independence of the Iraqi autonomous region of Kurdistan is taking place on Monday amid the stiff opposition from Baghdad, which believes the referendum is illegal and refuses to recognize its results.
Moreover, the move has been widely criticized by Iraqi authorities as well as by the international community. Iran pledged to shut down all the border points with Iraqi Kurdistan after the independence vote, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to impose sanctions against the region in the event the independence referendum takes place.
In addition, the UN Security Council (UNSC) also expressed its concern as it claimed the event may destabilize Iraq. Three million refugees and internally displaced people will be placed at risk if the referendum proceeds to take place while Daesh (banned in Russia) terror group continues to operate in the region, according to the United Nations.
Iraqi Kurdistan is a region with predominantly Kurdish population. The Kurds, making up about 20 percent of the Iraqi population, have been seeking self-governance for decades. In 2005, Iraq’s Constitution recognized Kurdistan as an autonomous region run by the Kurdistan Regional Government. The referendum was announced by Iraqi Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani in June.