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Published On: Mon, Nov 20th, 2017

Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court declared Kurdistan independence referendum unconstitutional

nsnbc : The Supreme Federal Court of Iraq issued a verdict, on Monday, considering Kurdistan’s independence referendum “unconstitutional”. The Court also cancelled all results of the referendum which turned a long-lingering crisis between Baghdad and Erbil into an acute one.

Kurdistan regional government and parliament in Erbil.

Kurdistan regional government and parliament in Erbil.

The Supreme Federal Court is responsible for settling disputes between Iraq’s federal government in the capital Baghdad and Iraq’s regions, including the Kurdistan Autonomous Region (KAR).

The verdict is supposed to be final and cannot be appealed. Kurds in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region and in some disputed regions including Kirkuk, voted overwhelmingly to break away from Iraq in a referendum held on September 25, defying the central government in Baghdad as well as neighboring Turkey and Iran who have their own Kurdish minorities.

The Court had already ruled on November 6 that no region or province can secede and the Kurdistan Regional Government said last week it would respect that verdict.

Turning the lingering crisis into an acute one with military dimensions, Iraqi government forces and the Iran-backed, predominantly Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces or al Hashd al-Shaabi, launched a surprise offensive on October 16 in retaliation.

Government forces managed to wrest back control of the oil-rich city and region of Kirkuk and other disputed territories. It has also transpired that Iran has set its eyes on Mount Shingal and the predominantly Yazidi city of Sinjar in the tri-border region of Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The Mount was once Saddam Hussein’s and Iraq’s prime real estate for launching SCUD missiles.

CH/L – nsnbc 20.11.2017

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