BAGHDAD — An Iraqi lawmaker says his Kurdish colleagues are not attending a parliament session underway in Baghdad as tensions escalate further between the central government and Iraq’s Kurdish region following its controversial independence referendum.
Mohammed al-Karbouli says the Kurdish lawmakers did not show up for Tuesday’s session.
The Shiite-dominated legislature rejected the Sept. 25 referendum in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region and areas the Kurds captured battling the Islamic State group since 2014. The Kurds voted by more than 90 percent in support of independence.
Parliament has asked for harsh measures in response to the vote, including sending federal troops to retake the contested oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which is held by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad. Lawmakers also dismissed the ethnically mixed Kirkuk province’s Kurdish governor who supported the referendum.