Kurdistan Region Independence Referendum between Kurdish Determination and US Refusal: reasons and consequences


  • Assist. Prof. Dr. Nawzad Abdullah shukery College of Political Science, Salahaddin University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq.




This research attempts to enalaysis the US foregin policy towards Kurdistan region during Trump administration2017-2020. Despite a growing debate within academia, there is still great deal of controversy on what were the key reasons behind KRI decision for holding referendum? More importantly, why do US strongly reject Kurdish effort for independence?

In fact, Violation of Kurdistan Region rights whcich stipulated in constitution by the Iraqi government, Bakhdad policy aimed at undermining the poseton of KRI, The flexible policy which pursued by Turkey and Arab Gulf States towards KRI and the US and its allies support for Kurds in war against ISIS, the expansion of KRI territories, following ISIS incursion into Iraq and capturing Kirkuk and disputed areas, With gaining control over new oil and gas resources in disputed areas and the kurdish leaders policy to establish de facot states all these factors pushed KRI to holds independence refrendum

It was obvious that US did not support Kurdish independence referendum. There were key factors that contributed to such a position from the US. The US administration saw that referendum would disrupt war against ISIS and undermine international collations efforts to defeat ISIS. Further, the US administration was concerns that referendum would undermine security and stability in Iraq and would renew ethnic conflict which would damage US interests in the region. Further, at that time the US policy was to support Haidar Abadi Prime Minister for second terms by believing that Abadi would be able to disarm Shia militias, maintain stability and contain Iran influence in Iraq.


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How to Cite

Shukri, D. A. (2023). Kurdistan Region Independence Referendum between Kurdish Determination and US Refusal: reasons and consequences. Zanco Journal of Law and Politics گۆڤاری زانكۆ بۆ یاساورامیاری, 21(35), 169–187. https://doi.org/10.21271/ZJlP.21.35.9