Khanaqin, Bashiqa, join Shingal in wanting to participate in Kurdistan’s independence referendum
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The District Councils of the cities of Khanaqin in Diyala province, and Bashiqa in Nineveh province, have welcomed holding the referendum for independence in their areas.
Last week, the Khanaqin District Council, with representatives of all minority groups and political parties in the area, voted in favor of participating in the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum.
Samir Mohammed, the head of the Khanaqin District Council, during a press conference announced the council had voted in favor of Khanaqin and surrounding areas taking part in the referendum scheduled for September 25 and that ballot stations would be open.
Mohammed added “it is our right to demand we participate in the referendum because Khanaqin is part of Kurdistan,” stating that the council’s resolution would be delivered to the Kurdistan Region's Presidency and the Council of Ministers.
On August 17, the Bashiqa District Council unanimously approved taking part in the vote to separate from the rest of Iraq.
Mohammed Dhiyab, the Council's Arab Representative, told reporters that the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces had been the ones to protect the area and its people, including Arabs, Shabaks, and Ezidis, and all of the villages without distinction.
On July 31, the Shingal District Council expressed support for the efforts of the Kurdistan Regional Government to include Shingal areas in the referendum.
Wais Nayef, the head of Shingal District Council, declared, “we as representatives of the Shingal district and sub-districts of Snuny, Blej, and Gir Azer see it as our national duty to officially express our support for the referendum on independence, which is our peoples' fundamental right.”
Editing by G.H. Renaud