Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani speaks to the media during his visits in the town of Bashiqa, after it was recaptured from ISIS, east of Mosul, Iraq, Nov. 16, 2016. (REUTERS/Azad Lashkari)
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Iraq's Kurds are sticking to a plan to hold an independence referendum on Sept. 25, despite a U.S. request to postpone it, a high-ranking Kurdish official told Reuters on Saturday.Turkey, Iran and Syria, which together with Iraq have sizeable Kurdish populations, all oppose an independent Kurdistan.Daesh's self-proclaimed "caliphate" effectively collapsed last month, when U.S.-backed Iraqi forces completed the takeover of the militants' capital in Iraq, Mosul, after a nine-month campaign in which Kurdish Peshmerga fighters took part.The country's majority Shiite community mainly lives in the south while the Kurds and Sunni Arabs inhabit two corners of the north.
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