About two months after Iraq’s army took back the northern city of Mosul from the Islamic State, Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region went to the polls to vote on independence from the country.
Both the Iraqi and U.S. governments declared the vote — which took place on September 25, 2017 — illegitimate. Iran and Turkey, with significant Kurdish populations, also opposed the measure.
Kurdish officials said that nearly 93 percent of voters supported the referendum to establish a separate Kurdish state.
We discuss the ramifications of the referendum for Iraq and the Middle East with Goran Zaneti, a Kurdish American and independent journalist on Middle East affairs. Zaneti is currently producing a documentary on Kurdish refugees stuck on the Turkish-Syria border called Resistance is Life.