Iraqi Kurdistan is set for a referendum on independence on Monday. It is widely assumed that the vote will overwhelmingly pass, with the Kurds having long sought an independent nation and now seemingly having the means to effect the establishment of one in northern Iraq.
President Massoud Barzani says the referendum will go on as planned, despite warnings from across the region to stop it. Barzani says the Kurds are "never going back to Baghdad." This also seems to indicate he expects a victory.
Barzani, whose family has been driving Iraqi Kurdistan toward secession since the US occupation, insisted that the "partnership" with Iraq's central government is over, and they seem determined for that to be a permanent split.