World

Turkey warns Iraq: Kurdish referendum security threat

Iraq's Prime Minister says he received a call from his Turkish counterpart who underscored his rejection of the controversial referendum Iraq's Kurdish region plans to hold this month.

Haider al-Abadi says Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim expressed concerns that the vote is a danger to "the security of the region and the safety of its people," according to a statement released by al-Abadi's office Friday evening.

Iraq's Kurdish region plans to hold a referendum on support for independence from Iraq on Sept. 25 in three governorates that make up their autonomous region, and in disputed areas like Kirkuk that are controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad.

The planned vote has escalated tensions with Baghdad as well as neighboring Turkey and Iran — countries home to sizeable Kurdish populations.