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Tens of Thousands Rally for Iraqi Kurdish Independence Vote

A controversial independence referendum is to be held in Iraqi Kurdistan on September 25. The vote, which is not sanctioned by Iraq’s central government and not supported by the United States, carries great significance for Kurds, both inside and outside Iraq.
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International and domestic opponents say the referendum could cause internal and international conflicts if it goes forward, but these supporters say their time for independence is now, in Irbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Sept. 22, 2017.
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International and domestic opponents say the referendum could cause internal and international conflicts if it goes forward, but these supporters say their time for independence is now, in Irbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Sept. 22, 2017.

Security was out in force ahead of the rally, which attracted tens of thousands of people in favor of the Kurdish referendum for Independence in Irbil, Kurdistan Region in Iraq, Sept. 22, 2017.
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Security was out in force ahead of the rally, which attracted tens of thousands of people in favor of the Kurdish referendum for Independence in Irbil, Kurdistan Region in Iraq, Sept. 22, 2017.

The stadium was packed far beyond capacity, and some locals showed their support from atop a water tower overlooking the rally in Irbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Sept. 22, 2017.
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The stadium was packed far beyond capacity, and some locals showed their support from atop a water tower overlooking the rally in Irbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Sept. 22, 2017.

The streets of Irbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, were packed for kilometers surrounding the rally with voters showing support for the referendum, despite international and domestic opposition, Sept. 22, 2017.
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The streets of Irbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, were packed for kilometers surrounding the rally with voters showing support for the referendum, despite international and domestic opposition, Sept. 22, 2017.

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