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Iraqi minorities move forward with autonomy plan

Representatives of the Turkmen, Yazidi and Assyrian minority communities of Iraq have declared a coalition and put forward the most complete vision yet for self-rule in the country’s north.
A Yazidi man carries his child at the Sharaf Al-Deen temple in Shingal's outskirts, Iraq, August 14, 2016.  REUTERS/Ari Jalal - RTX2KT69

BAGHDAD — On March 5, three bodies representing Iraqi minorities issued a joint statement calling for a semi-autonomous region in the country’s north. The idea was proposed by the Yazidi Independent Supreme Council, the Turkmen Rescue Foundation and Al-Rafidain Organization, representing Iraq’s Assyrian Christians. The canton would comprise three contiguous regions: Sinjar, Tal Afar and the Ninevah plain.

The proposal is the most complete vision the minorities have yet put forward as an alliance, with the aim of extracting themselves from the Arab-Kurdish struggle for their areas and to prevent a repetition of the catastrophic killing and displacement they suffered when the Islamic State (IS) invaded Ninevah province and raided the areas where they live.

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