Israel endorses independent Kurdish state

Israel endorses independent Kurdish stateBy Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel supports the establishment of a Kurdish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, as Kurds in Iraq gear up for a referendum on independence that lawmakers in Baghdad oppose. Israel has maintained discreet military, intelligence and business ties with the Kurds since the 1960s, viewing the minority ethnic group -- whose indigenous population is split between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran -- as a buffer against shared Arab adversaries. On Tuesday, Iraq’s Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said he would press ahead with the Sept. 25 referendum despite a vote by Iraq's parliament rejecting it.


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