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Refugees’ fate in limbo as Iraqi Kurdistan referendum nears

The Sept. 25 referendum on independence in Iraqi Kurdistan may turn the predominantly Sunni Arab displaced community into a new source of tension between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Region.
A displaced Iraqi woman from Mosul walks towards her family's tent for their Iftar, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at a refugee camp al-Khazir in the outskirts of Erbil, Iraq June 10, 2017. Picture taken June 10, 2017.   REUTERS/Erik De Castro - RTS176F3

ERBIL, Iraq — With the referendum on independence in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq scheduled for Sept. 25, the fate of the large number of displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees in the region is unknown.

On Aug. 31, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of Tal Afar and Ninevah province, which was preceded by the liberation of the city of Mosul on July 10. But are the hundreds of thousands who fled from the Islamic State (IS) to the displacement camps in the Kurdistan Region going home anytime soon?

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