The Kurds voted universally in favor of their independence

a 12 News, Iraq, Kurdish, Turkey
a 20 News, Iraq, Kurdish, Turkey

Nearly 93% of those who took part in Monday's referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan voted in favor of independence from Iraq, Kurdish media reported, citing the results so far.

According to the Rudaw television network, about 282.000 votes have been counted so far out of a total of 3,3 million.

Based on the results so far, only 2% of the voters in the city of Amadiya voted against independence, while the "yes" gathered 99% of the votes in Akri, 96% in Saklawa, 95% in Halabja, 90% in Callar, while the percentage of those who opposed independence reached 14% in the city of Duhok.

The election commission announced on Monday night that the turnout was 72,16%.

Following the announcement of the decision by the Iraqi Kurdistan authorities that the independence referendum would be held in June - although not legally binding - the Iraqi government and many foreign governments strongly criticized the move. A few days before the polls opened, Tehran and Ankara held military exercises on their border with Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran closed its airspace to all flights to the autonomous region, and Turkey threatened to crack down.

At the same time, according to a Reuters report broadcast by the Athens News Agency, the US State Department expressed its "deep disappointment" with the conduct of the referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, estimating in a statement that it "will instability and difficulties "in the region.

"The United States is deeply disappointed with the decision of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to hold a unilateral independence referendum today (Monday)," the State Department said in a statement.