World Bulletin / News Desk
A planned referendum on the secession of northern Iraq's Kurdish region "augurs ill" for Iraq, the head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front has warned.
"This referendum will drag the country into a new wave of chaos," Arshad al-Salhi said on Sunday.
The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is planning to hold a referendum on Sept. 25 on whether the northern Kurdish region should formally secede from the Iraqi state.
Al-Salhi said the Sept. 25 vote has been met with condemnations across Iraq.
He said the northern city of Kirkuk is disputed between Baghdad and the KRG and its inclusion in the referendum would push the country into a new crisis.
"The city's future should be defined by the Iraqi parliament," he said.
After Arabs and Kurds, Turkmen constitute Iraq’s third largest ethnic group, with a number of Turkmen communities concentrated in disputed areas between Baghdad and Iraq’s northern Kurdish region.
While there are no official figures regarding Iraq’s Turkmen population, Turkmen officials put the number at about 7 percent of Iraq’s roughly 33 million people.
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