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Will Iraqi Kurdistan's Referendum go Ahead? Doubts Raised With Two Days Remaining

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A memorial to killed Peshmerga in Nineveh province

He was speaking to reporters before a session of Turkey's parliament on Saturday afternoon to vote on extending a mandate that authorises Turkish troop deployments to Iraq and Syria.

Natali believes a yes vote in the referendum won't change the KRG's precarious position - lacking any external support, with a troubled economy, no access to the sea, and holding territory disputed with Baghdad.

A Turkish foreign ministry statement on September 14 said that "continued insistence on carrying out this referendum, despite all friendly advice to the contrary, will carry a cost".

Ahmed, co-president of the political wing of a USA -backed Syrian Kurdish force battling the Islamic State militant group, said that unlike the Iraqi Kurdish referendum that's largely been rejected internationally, local Kurdish elections have faced no objections.

The motion - submitted by Premier Binali Yildirim's AK Party government - had previously allowed the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations from October 2, 2016, until October 31, 2017.

Turkey ended the operation this spring, but said further operations were possible.

It once again urged the Kurdish Regional Government to cancel the referendum which it said was "threatening Turkey's national security". "It will both evaluate this and put forth their own stance on what kind of sanctions we can impose, or if we will, but these will not be ordinary", Erdogan was quoted by Anadolu as saying.

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A statement issued after the meeting said Turkey reserved its rights originating from global conventions.

Mudah Bakhtiar, a member of the PUK political bureau, told journalists his party "believes that the alternative (to the referendum) proposed by the United Nations and the major powers is acceptable".

Militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) launched a rocket and mortar attack from the Iraqi side of the border on Turkey's Semdinli district on Saturday, killing one Turkish soldier and a worker in the area of a military base, the Hakkari governor's office said in a statement.

Turkey's official news agency says Istanbul police have detained 36 people as alleged members of the Islamic State group.

It comes after Erbil's neigbours nad allies all stepped up their opposition to the referendum, throwing into doubt whether the vote will go ahead on Monday as planned.

President Masoud Barzani told a crowd on Friday in the capital Erbil that he is not a leader who could bring "shame" on himself by calling off the vote to please foreign capitals.

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