Syrian Kurds wave the Kurdish flag, in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli on September 27, 2017, during a gathering in support of the independence referendum in Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish region. AFP / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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Stepping up efforts to isolate autonomous Kurdish-held northern Iraq, which backed secession in a referendum Monday that angered neighboring countries, Baghdad demanded that foreign governments close their diplomatic missions in the Kurdish capital, Irbil.A delegation from Iraq's armed forces headed to neighboring Iran to coordinate military efforts, apparently as part of retaliatory measures taken by the government in Baghdad following the vote.Iraq considers the vote unconstitutional, especially as it was held not only within the Kurdish region itself but also on disputed territory held by Kurds elsewhere in northern Iraq.The area, long claimed by the Kurds, is also home to Turkmen and Arab communities, who opposed the independence vote, although the Kurdistan Regional Government included the area in the referendum.
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