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Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani to step down from presidency

Barzani's announcement came as a shock to the Iraqi Kurdish population

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Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani to step down from presidency

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Protesters tried to storm the Kurdish Parliament after Iraqi Kurdish Masoud Barzani announced his resignation a witness told Reuters.

Barzani confirmed this Sunday (October 29) his plans to step down from the presidency of the Kurdistan Regional Government on November 1 after his plans for independence backfired.

Kurdish television station Rudaw TV said Barzani sent the Kurdish Parliament a letter alerting them of his departure.


Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence on September 25 but won little sympathy for their cause outside of the region. The Baghdad government considered the referendum illegal and sent troops to seize the city of Kirkuk, which the Kurds consider a future homeland. The governments of Iran and Turkey also promised to crack down on any secessionist movements within their Kurdish regions while US State Department warned the Kurds that “holding the referendum in disputed areas is particularly provocative and destabilizing.”

The loss of Kirkuk was a severe blow for Barzani and prompted calls from the opposition for the Kurdish President to resign.