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Kurdish independence in Iraq will take more than a referendum

The Kurdistan Regional Government has its work cut out for it to achieve an independent Kurdistan, as its plans would require the cooperation of some unlikely players.
Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani speaks to journalists on December 21, 2014 during a visit to Mount Sinjar, west of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Barzani hailed advances by peshmerga fighters against the Islamic State jihadist group (IS) as they battled the militants for a northern town, backed by US-led strikes.  AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)
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The recently revived push for an independent Kurdistan has many obstacles to overcome: its threat to the Middle East's always-fragile stability, Turkey's long-standing opposition, US uncertainty and just overall bad timing.

Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), announced that a referendum for an independent Kurdistan will be held Sept. 25. An independent Kurdish state is a long-cherished goal for most Kurds, who are spread over mainly four countries: Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria — making it the largest stateless nation in the world.

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