AA:US urges 'unified Iraq' as country's Kurds vote

What you need to know about the Kurdish referendum

History at their fingertips: Iraqi Kurds celebrate in historic vote the US and UK didn't want to see

RTUK's decision was made in an extraordinary meeting today because the channels are "not based in Turkey and do not have a broadcasting licence", the agency said.

Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard also launched a military exercise in its northwestern Kurdish region, in a sign of Tehran's concerns over the vote.

The non-binding vote on the secession of the semi-autonomous region has irked the central government.

Peshmerga forces wait to cast their ballots in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) controversial referendum at a military polling station in Rashkin village of Erbil, Iraq on 25 September 2017.

The Kurdistan Region's referendum plan has also drawn large-scale criticism internationally.

"Parliament demands that the head of the army (Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi) deploy forces in all of the zones the autonomous region of Kurdistan has taken control of since 2003", a resolution said.

This is a nonbinding vote but Kurdish leaders hope it will be a major step toward nationhood. "We don't want to destabilise Iraq or Kurdistan. but certainly our aim is an independent Iraqi Kurdistan in the near future". One of the articles, by the analyst Majid Kousha and headlined, "One Referendum and an Endless Crisis", held that despite the referendum, "Turning Kurdistan into an independent country is still very far off".

However, many observers view the vote in line with a long-pursued Israeli-US agenda to partition regional states.

The Kurds are likely to approve the referendum, but they are not expected to result in any immediate declaration of independence.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it would take "all measures" if the plebiscite generated threats to Turkey's national security.

In a brief statement, the USA embassy in Iraq explained that it will temporarily limit the movement of personnel as a precautionary measure, Efe news reported. "Discrimination between Iraqi citizens on the nationalist and ethnic foundation exposes Iraq to dangers known only by God", al-Abadi said from Baghdad.

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