Iraqi Kurdistan region to hold referendum on independence in August – reports

Erbil, Kurdistan region in Iraq. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The Iraqi Kurdistan Region is expected to hold an independence referendum in August, media reported, citing a political adviser to the Kurdistan Region’s president.

According to the Bas News media outlet, the information was confirmed by Mohammed Haji, who added that the region’s authorities were planning to urge the region’s High Electoral Commission to set the groundwork for the polls.

Haji added that Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani had already called on Kurdish political parties to nominate representatives to a joint committee engaged in independence efforts.

In late March, Hemin Hawrami, a senior assistant to Barzani, told reporters that Kurdistan’s president had informed the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about the referendum on gaining independence from Iraq “at the earliest time.”

In early April, Secretary of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) politburo Fadhil Mirani said that two special boards to prepare for the referendum would be established.

Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. In Iraq and Syria, the Kurds are fighting against the Islamic State (IS) group, while in Turkey they are engaged in a conflict with state authorities.