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Iraq's Kurds Await Backlash After Millions Vote on Statehood

  • Turkey hints at blocking oil exports Kurds need for revenue
  • Kurdish officials not expected to push for immediate secession
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Iraqi Kurds Face Backlash After Referendum

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Millions of Iraq’s Kurds voted in an historic referendum on independence on Monday, defying the dire warnings from neighbors as well as the government in Baghdad -- who must now decide how far to retaliate to an expected landslide in favor of secession.

Though the ballot was limited to areas under the control of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq, the repercussions will be felt farther afield. More than 30 million Kurds are dispersed across the borders with Syria, Iran and Turkey with separatist ambitions of their own. Brent crude climbed to a two-year high on Monday amid concern that a backlash against the vote may disrupt Kurdish oil supplies.