After independence vote, Kurdish leaders feel under siege

In this Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 photo, a shop owner waits for customers in central Irbil, Iraq. In September 2017, Iraq’s Kurds celebrated their symbolic vote for independence, but instead of moving forward with negotiations toward a smooth divorce from Baghdad, Kurdish politicians have been humiliated with the loss of their most important oil-producing city, Kirkuk, to Iraqi troops. That has squeezed an already hurting economy and dashed hopes of an independent state. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

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