A Kurdish peshmerga fighter takes up a position as they clear Fadiliya village in Nawaran, north of Mosul, as part of their offensive to drive Daesh from Mosul, Iraq, October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
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Iraq's Shiite ruling coalition would oppose Kurdish plans to hold a referendum on independence after the defeat of Daesh (ISIS), its president, Ammar al-Hakim, has said.Iraq's majority Shiite Arab community is located mainly in the south while the Kurds and the Sunni Arabs live in opposite corners of the north.The Kurds have their own armed force, the peshmerga, which in 2014 prevented Daesh from capturing the oil region of Kirkuk after the Iraqi army fled in the face of the militants.Hard-line Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias have threatened to expel the Kurds by force from this region and other disputed areas.Hakim however downplayed the risk of military confrontation between the Shiite and the Kurds.
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