Iraq parliament gets tough on Kurdish referendum

Image Source: MGN

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) - An Iraqi lawmaker says the country's parliament has approved several tough measures in response to the Iraqi Kurds' contentious vote on support for independence from Baghdad.

Shiite lawmaker Hakim al-Zamili says the measures will force Baghdad to act to "protect Iraq's unity and to deploy troops in all areas" where they were before the 2014 blitz by the Islamic State group.

Al-Zamili says measures approved on Monday also call for closing all border crossings with the Kurdish region.

He says the parliament considers the Kurdish referendum unconstitutional and calls for taking legal measures against all Kurdish officials and employees who took part in the vote.

The referendum on independence is non-binding, but it has strained tensions with Baghdad and regional powers. The United States has strongly opposed the move, saying it could destabilize the region.