The U.S. president could be striving to stifle the Shi’ite Crescent that's forming in the region, but all he wants to do is erase Obama’s landmark foreign policy
Kurdistan is a region straddling northern Iraq, Western Iran, eastern Turkey and parts of Syria and Armenia. Some 30 million Kurds inhabit the region, and have struggled for decades recognition, influence, and an independent nation-state.
The KRG has declared that the referendum will be “binding” - in other words, if a majority of the 5 million voters choose independence, as is widely expected, they will initiate the breakaway process. Iraq’s Shi’ite-dominated government in Baghdad has made it clear that they will not recognize the referendum’s results, but it is unclear how they can prevent Kurdish independence.
Turkey, which has the region's largest Kurdish population, fears a "Yes"' vote could fuel separatism in its southeast where Kurdish militants have waged an insurgency for three decades in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.
The U.S., Iran and Syria also oppose the referendum out of fears that it would destabilize the region.
Israel, however, has recently voiced support for an independent Kurdistan. "A stable and unified Kurdish entity in the middle of this swamp, is not a bad idea," Netanyahu said in September. The prime minister added that while Israel sees the Kurdish guerillas PKK as a terrorist organization, "it supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state."
In the aftermath of Iraq's seizure of Kirkuk, much of the exodus is taking shelter in cities deeper inside Kurdish territory
Thousands of civilians are streaming back to Kirkuk, a day after fleeing as Iraqi troops pushed Kurdish forces back to positions they held back in 2014
On Monday Iraqi government forces took control of the oil-rich Kirkuk region that had previously been under Kurdish control
Battle for Kurdistan: U.S. Weapons Face Off Against U.S. Weapons as Iraqi Forces Seize Key Kurdish Oil Center
Peshmerga pushed back two assaults by the Iraqi forces south of Kirkuk, destroying several U.S.-supplied Humvees used by Popular Mobilisation, a force which is also trained and armed by Iran
A dozen Humvees from the U.S.-trained Counter Terrorism Service arrived at the governorate building and took position in the vicinity alongside the local city police
Kurdish officials say state-backed militias aim to retake disputed northern city; both sides fighting ISIS, enjoy U.S. support
Peshmerga fighters rejected a warning from an Iraqi paramilitary force to withdraw from a strategic junction south of Kirkuk
Iran's Tasnim news agency says Iran closed the border over last month's independence vote ■ Iran had previously blocked direct flights to and from Kurdistan
Catalonia is getting closer to its goal, but the Palestinians, who aren't even seeking to change any internationally recognized borders, are getting farther away from theirs