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Kurds lose, but that doesn't mean Turkey's a winner

The Kurdistan independence referendum backfired and Kurds are suffering, but Turkey might want to hold off on celebrating until it considers the long-term consequences.
A boy sells Iraqi flags on a street in Kirkuk, Iraq October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed - RC13D638D300
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Kurds who insisted on holding the independence referendum were warned in September. Friends and foes alike, as well as many Kurds themselves, predicted that once the Islamic State (IS) was cleared from its bastion of Havice, a region near Kirkuk, the Iraqi army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) would turn their guns on Kurdish forces to expel them from disputed lands. As a result, the doomsayers said, the Kurdish aspiration for an independent state would be even more difficult to achieve.

That's exactly what happened.

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