Kurdish Peshmerga forces celebrate Newroz Day, a festival marking spring and the new year, in Kirkuk March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed
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Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region will hold a referendum on statehood in September, its presidency said Wednesday, despite opposition to independence from Baghdad.Iraqi Kurdistan is made up of three provinces that are run by an autonomous regional government and protected by their own security services, and there is broad support among Iraqi Kurds for the idea of an independent state.While the concept of Kurdish independence has broad appeal, Iraqi Kurds are deeply divided politically to the point that a new state could be paralyzed by such divisions.
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