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Turkey fumes as Sinjar Yazidis declare 'democratic autonomy'

Some Yazidis have announced their opposition to the Iraqi Kurdistan independence vote, as Turkey and Iran consider attacking the Yazidi-allied PKK in the Qandil Mountains.
A member of Kurdish security forces stands guard in Sinjar region, Iraq August 2, 2017. Picture taken August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem - RTS1A8QS

As Massoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, continues to resist mounting international calls to scrap a referendum on Kurdish independence planned for September, a rival Kurdish faction has added its voice, declaring what it calls “democratic autonomy” in the predominantly Yazidi region of Sinjar. The Sinjar Democratic Autonomous Administrative Council made the announcement on Sunday, saying it wants “free and democratic life for all Yazidis.”

Sinjar is among the so-called disputed territories that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government in Baghdad both claim as their own. The KRG says the referendum will be conducted in all the disputed territories, including Sinjar. 

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