Iraqi Kurdish referendum 'historic mistake': Turkey

Kurdish man wearing traditional clothes passes under a Kurdish flag in Irbil’s old bazaar Iraq. Despite calls from Baghdad and the United States to postpone the vote Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish reg

Kurdish man wearing traditional clothes passes under a Kurdish flag in Irbil’s old bazaar Iraq. Despite calls from Baghdad and the United States to postpone the vote Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish reg

An Iraqi lawmaker says parliament has dismissed the Kurdish governor of Iraq's ethnically-mixed Kirkuk province upon a request from the prime minister.

The decision to remove the governor, Najmaddin Kareem, came after Kirkuk - an oil-rich province claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq - chose to take part in the KRG referendum.

"I will stay in office", Kareem told Reuters, hours after the parliamentary vote.

Israel's leader on Wednesday said his country supports Kurdish independence ahead of a key referendum on the matter.

The non-binding referendum will see residents of northern Iraq's Kurdish region controlled by KRG to vote on whether or not to declare formal independence from Baghdad.

Though not part of the recognised Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the province has a large Kurdish population and is under Kurdish military control.

South Korea Conducts 'Stealth' Cruise Missile Test
And on September 12, South Korea conducted a military exercise to improve its ability to fire cruise missiles at North Korea. The North claimed to have carried out a hydrogen bomb test.

The move came after Iraq's parliament voted to remove the governor of Kirkuk, a staunch supporter of Kurdish independence.

During a press conference in Erbil, Brett McGurk, the US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State (IS), said he met with the leadership in Kurdistan to discuss other options for the independence vote.

Ankara is also concerned about the presence of the Syrian Kurdish militia People's Protection Units (YPG) in the border area, fearing an autonomous Kurdish region could also emerge in northern Syria.

Kareem has previously stated that only a vote by Kirkuk's governing local council could remove him.

Barzani has vowed to press ahead with the referendum and that the vote will be held on time, despite US requests for it to be postponed.

Kirkuk Now, a media outlet close to the PUK, reported on Thursday that the PUK office in Kirkuk voted to exclude Kirkuk from the Kurdish referendum.

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