Crowds Celebrate in Erbil Ahead of Kurdish Independence Referendum

Kurds excited about the upcoming September 25 independence referendum were out celebrating in Erbil’s main square on Thursday, September 21.

The Kurdish region of northern Iraq will hold a non-binding independence vote on Monday, September 25. Both the US and Iraqi government have condemned Kurdish authorities for holding the referendum, and have said they will not recognize its results. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said the vote violates Iraq’s constitution, while the White House said it was distraction from efforts to fight Islamic State and establish stability in the region.

The vote could trigger the process of northern Iraq separating from a country already divided along sectarian and ethnic lines, Reuters reported. Credit: Ricardo Abdallah via Storyful