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Iraq's Top Court Rules Kurdish Referendum Unconstitutional

A burned poster of Massoud Barzani, the President of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, is displayed in front of the abandoned building of Kurdish security forces in Kirkuk, Iraq, Oct. 19, 2017.

Iraq's top court ruled Monday that a Kurdish independence referendum was unconstitutional.

The court said the decision should cancel the results of the vote in which an overwhelming majority of those who participated supported independence.

Iraq's central government has repeatedly made known it saw the vote as illegal, and the Supreme Court ruled last week that no region was allowed to secede.

Kurdish authorities accepted the earlier ruling, saying it represented a starting point for inclusive dialogue between the two sides to resolve their differences.

Since the September referendum, Iraqi forces moved to reclaim control of much of the territory the Kurds had held for years after pushing out Islamic State fighters. As Kurdish authorities and those in Baghdad continued to spar over the push for independence, Kurdish President Masoud Barzani stepped down.

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