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Political and social events from the Middle East, with exclusive reports and interviews. Tuesday at 5.45 pm Paris time.

Latest update : 2017-09-20

Kurdish independence referendum: What impact on the region?

In this special edition, we bring you exclusive reports and analysis ahead of the Kurdish independence referendum, due to take place on September 25. The 6 million-strong Kurdish population in Iraq has long sought its independence. This is one of their first official opportunities to voice their dream. But the vote has been heavily criticised by officials in Iraq, across the region and even further afield, in the United States.

Although Kurds are bracing themselves for an uncertain future, one thing is for sure: the vote has been divisive both within Iraq and on the international stage. We bring you the pros and cons of this contentious independence referendum.

One of the regional countries flexing its muscles against the Kurdish referendum is Turkey. Our correspondents on the ground delve into why Ankara has even threatened to take all necessary steps.

Finally, Renad Mansour, who's a Middle East Research fellow at Chatham House, gives us his analysis on the Kurdish vote.

By Jeanne LAVENANT , Joanna COCKERELL , Stéphanie CHEVAL , Sanam SHANTYAEI

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2018-09-19 MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Rapper I-NZ's 'This is Iraq': When music gets political

This week, we meet Dubai-based Iraqi rapper I-NZ. Earlier this summer, he released a song about what has happened to his country since the US-led invasion in 2003. "This is...

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2018-09-12 MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

War in Syria: Hezbollah's secret soldiers

Since it began seven years ago, Syria's civil conflict has drawn in multiple foreign powers. Among them are Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah forces, who have helped prop up the...

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2018-09-05 MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Yemen in crisis: More than 22 million people in need of humanitarian aid

It's been dubbed the forgotten war, and today multiple factions are entangled in Yemen's ongoing conflict. For three years, a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states have been...

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2018-08-29 MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Tortured Syrian cartoonist haunted by detention

Syrian artist Najah Albukai was held twice in the country's notorious detention centres, where he was tortured. His memories of war have become his art. Today, he's determined to...

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2018-08-23 MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Mosul girls learn to swim a year after city’s liberation from IS group

It's been just over a year since the Iraqi city of Mosul was liberated from the Islamic State group. Some 870,000 people have since returned to their hometown in a bid to rebuild...

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