Kurdish President Massoud Barzani promised that the Kurdish independence referendum will take place on Sept. 25, even though Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared it unconstitutional. Meanwhile, Hoshyar Zebari, former Iraqi foreign and finance minister and now senior adviser to Barzani, said that parliament’s vote to reject the referendum was non-binding.
The referendum itself is non-binding, but it may give the Kurdistan Regional Government some extra leverage with Baghdad. Turkey and Iran are opposed to the referendum, as the neighboring countries believe it could whip up their own Kurdish populations. Israel, on the other hand, thinks it would be a positive development.
At least 52 people were killed and seven more were wounded:
Nine security personnel and three militants were killed in clashes in Ayadiya.
In Baghdad, a bomb killed one person and wounded another in the Mashtal district. A bomb in Arab Jabour killed a tribal fighter and wounded two more.
Leftover ordnance killed two children and wounded two more in Imam Gharbi.
A bomb in Tuz killed three civilians.
An attack on a road north of Kirkuk left a policeman dead and a civilian wounded.
Turkish airstrikes killed four members of the Kurdistan Workers Party in Zab.
In Mosul, gunmen killed three and wounded a fourth person all from the same militant family. Eight other militants were killed.
Airstrikes left 14 militants dead in Riyadh.
In Tal Safuq, airstrikes killed three militants.