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Police deploy in Iraqi oil city Kirkuk after deadly clash

Police deploy in Iraqi oil city Kirkuk after deadly clash”

Iraq's top court has temporarily suspended the vote, and the country's parliament has also voted to reject it.

Baghdad, regional leaders and the United States — a key ally of Iraq's Kurds — have repeatedly called on the region to hold off on the vote, fearing it could contribute to instability as Iraqi forces continue to battle the Islamic State group.

"If you challenge the Constitution and if you challenge the borders of Iraq and the borders of the region, this is a public invitation to the countries in the region to violate Iraqi borders as well, which is a very risky escalation", said Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi on Sunday. As such, Turkey's primary aim is to prevent the formation of a Kurdish corridor, which will include Iraq and Syria, and extend to the Mediterranean, encircling its borders.

As for the independence of the Iraqi Kurdistan from the Armenian perspective, Vahram Petrosyan noted that holding the referendum once again highlights the factor of peoples' right to self-determination.

Paul Manafort is reportedly working for officials in the Kurdish region of Iraq as they try to gain independence from the country. "Go to the Kurdistan region, they have schools there for the Turkmens, for the Christians, for the Arabs". Such opposition is largely driven by fears that a "yes" vote in the referendum, which is nearly certain, would enhance the nationalist aspirations of Kurds living in other countries and further destabilise the region.

Around 100 tanks and military vehicles, backed by rocket launchers and radar, deployed in open farmlands near the frontier, guns pointed south towards the Kurdish mountains.

Iranian Supreme National Security Council head Ali Shamkhani announced on Sunday that Iran would close their borders with northern Iraq, saying that all agreements would also be revised. On the other hand, the referendum introduces a variety of regional issues that could move oil prices depending on how they play out.

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The Kurds do enjoy the support - at least rhetorically - of one of the most powerful external actors with a foothold in Iraqi Kurdistan: the United States.

Paul Manafort is working with associates of Iraqi Kurdish leaders to boost a referendum effort there, The New York Times reported on Wednesday night.

The UK holds the same stance, complaining about timing.

Riyadh said it was relying on the wisdom of Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani to abandon the referendum and "spare Iraq and the region further threats that may ensue".

Responding to Fallon's comments, Massoud Barzani reiterated, "Referendum and dialogue are both tools for independence and that, since no alternative had been presented that could guarantee independence talks and Baghdad's readiness to commence such talks, the referendum cannot be delayed".

The Israeli regime, however, has come out in apparent support of the referendum.

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