The Iraqi constitution stipulates that there should be referenda in Kurdish areas beyond the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) whether these areas should indeed also be part of the KRG or be ruled directly from Baghdad. This includes the city of Kirkuk.
The US government, the European Union and other international friends of the KRG should use their considerable influence with Baghdad to pressure the Iraqi government to implement its own constitution.
The KRG agreed to the Iraqi constitution in assuming that it would indeed be implemented. Rather than implement the constitution did Baghdad in 2017 threaten Erbil with war unless the KRG withdrew from territories it had liberated with blood, sweat and tears from ISIL. Rather than moving to calm the impending conflict with diplomacy, did the Trump administration scandalously declare “neutrality” and the Kurds withdrew with the tail behind their legs without any constitutional referenda.
The time is long since ripe to implement the Iraqi constitution and for there to be referenda in the Kurdish areas beyond the control of the KRG. The world should demand no less.