Iraq's Kurds have voted to create an independent state, the High Elections and Referendum Commission said on Wednesday, in a referendum that has angered the Baghdad government and regional powers Turkey and Iran.
More than 92 percent of voters voted in favor of independence, the electoral commission announced.
The official results come a day after Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani declared victory in the referendum, which the U.S., major European countries and neighbors Turkey and Iran have described as destabilizing.
The Kurds, who have ruled over an autonomous region within Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, consider Monday's referendum to be a historic step in a generations-old quest for a state of their own.
Iraq considers the vote unconstitutional, especially as it was held not only within the Kurdish region itself but also on disputed territory held by Kurds elsewhere in northern Iraq.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the only leader to endorse an independent Kurdistan. Last week, Netanyahu said that Israel "supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve a state of their own."
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