Historic voting on the referendum to carve a separate country is underway in Iraqi Kurdistan despite regional opposition. The referendum on the decision to separate from Baghdad is historic but not binding. Nevertheless, it is a reflection of the intent of the Kurdish population and a handle to the Kurd leaders to enter into a dialogue with the Iraqi regime. Kurds are one of the largest ethnic groups who occupy a similar geographical area spanning huge mountainous region across Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and part of Armenia. The decision to hold the referendum is being bitterly opposed by Iraqi government and also by the international community.
This referendum has potential to again destabilize the region. There are concerns in the region that this referendum may create instability. After much difficulty Iraqi security forces managed to free large part of country from ISIS militant. Still the fight against ISIS is continuing in several parts of Iraq and Syria. Turkey while stating that it will not recognize the referendum has warned that it will take ‘all measures’ under international law if today’s referendum generates any threat to its national security. There is no doubt that Kurds deserves a better deal as region under it is relatively more stable than others. It has emerged as strong force to take on regressive forces like ISIS. But situation is right now not conducive for conducting the referendum. US and other western power will have to intervene and ensure that this act of conducting referendum does not further destabilize middle east.