Kurdish referendum matter of Turkey's national security, PM Yildirim says

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort's legal fees have piled up associates said

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort's legal fees have piled up associates said

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.

Iraq's Kurds faced mounting global pressure Friday, including from neighbouring Iran, to call off an independence referendum that the UN Security Council warned was potentially destabilising.

"It is strongly emphasized that this attempted Kurdish referendum is a grave mistake which directly threatens the security of Turkey and the peace, security and stability of the region as well as Iraq's territorial unity and territorial integrity", the statement said.

Already at least one Kurd has been killed in pre-referendum clashes in Kirkuk, and security checkpoints have been erected across the city to prevent further violence.

Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar and Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Gen.

"We reaffirm to the UN Security Council that our fight against terror will continue", he said, dismissing concerns that the vote would undermine the drive - which requires cooperation with Arabs - to crush Islamic State militants.

If the Kurds "eventually break away from Baghdad, it would be the most significant redrawing of borders within the Middle East since the creation of Israel in 1948", said Daily Sabah, the pro-government Turkish newspaper and opponent of the referendum.

Barzani declared that "we may die for our goal". "We demand a total cancellation, so that we won't have to impose sanctions", he said.

"They should have sent weapons to the Peshmerga, but they cut the budget", he said.

Turkey believes the referendum will be a threat to its own security.

"After the constitution of Iraq was drafted, we accepted it, but Baghdad did not comply with it. Article 140 of the constitution was not implemented", he said.

"We conveyed our opinions [on referendum] clearly and without hesitation to our friends in the coalition".

Massud Barzani is expected to make a final announcement on Saturday about the fate of the plebiscite, but he already seemed to have his mind made-up on Friday when he said Kurds were ready "to pay any price for freedom".

Evidence on the ground indicates that the Kurdistan region is on track to conduct the referendum on September 25 despite all internal and external rejection.

He said the poll was "rejected, whether today or in the future, in the Kurdistan region within the 2003 borders or in the disputed areas".

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