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Middle East

Battle for Iraq's Hawija looms amid Kurdish push for independence

© Safin Hamed, AFP | A former Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighter walks near the citadel in Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, as he heads out to urge people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum.

Video by James ANDRE

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-09-18

The battle for the northern Iraqi city of Hawija is due to start within days, opening a key front in the battle against the Islamic State group.

Kurdish fighters have been a key force in the fight against Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Iraq. But with autonomous Kurdish regions scheduled to hold an independence referendum on September 25, tensions between Baghdad and Erbil – the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan – are running high.

Will the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces stay united against their common enemy until the IS group threat is eradicated? For now it remains unclear whether Kurdish peshmerga fighters will take part in the fight to liberate Hawija.

Click on the video player above to watch the FRANCE 24 report.

Date created : 2017-09-18

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