Home/Daniel Larison/The Referendum Backlash Begins

The Referendum Backlash Begins

On the main page, I sum up the pitfalls of the Kurdish referendum:

If the referendum triggers new armed conflicts in Iraq, the people living in Kurdistan will be the main losers. A region that is already wracked by war and instability may have to endure another multi-sided conflict for years to come.

Unfortunately, the news over the weekend and today suggests that hostile reactions are going to be every bit as dangerous as I have feared they could be. Turkish military intervention looms:

The Iraqi government announced Iran’s full support for its position:

Iran closed its airspace to flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan over the weekend at the request of the Iraqi government, and Turkey is considering doing the same.

None of this should come as a shock, since all of these governments have been warning very loudly and publicly that this is how they planned to react if the vote went ahead. These responses to a referendum may seem excessive and even absurd, but it tells us how intensely hostile all of these governments are to the mere idea of a Kurdish state. If they are already prepared to go this far to protest a vote, how much worse would their reaction to the creation of a new state be?

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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