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BAGH­DAD» Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Haider al-abadi says he’s pre­pared to in­ter­vene mil­i­tar­ily if the Kur­dish re­gion’s planned in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum re­sults in vi­o­lence.

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press on Satur­day, Al-abadi says if the Iraqi pop­u­la­tion is “threat­ened by the use of force out­side the law, then we will in­ter­vene mil­i­tar­ily.”

Al-abadi called the vote “a dan­ger­ous es­ca­la­tion” that will in­vite vi­o­la­tions of Iraq’s sovereignty.

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

U.s.-backed forces hit by Rus­sian planes. BEIRUT» The U.s.-led coali­tion fight­ing the Is­lamic State in Syria said Satur­day that its part­ner forces have been at­tacked by Rus­sian war­planes, es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions on one of the coun­try’s most com­plex and con­tested bat­tle­fields.

The coali­tion said in a state­ment that an early morn­ing airstrike tar­geted po­si­tions used by the Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces, or SDF, a Kur­dish­dom­i­nated mili­tia backed by Wash­ing­ton, as well as the in­ter­na­tional ad­vis­ers sup­port­ing them in a weeks-old of­fen­sive to dis­lodge Is­lamic State mil­i­tants from the eastern prov­ince of Deir al-zour.

As the Is­lamic State loses ter­ri­tory across Syria and Iraq, oil-rich Deir al-zour has be­come a hub for the group’s se­nior lead­ers.

It has also emerged as a geopo­lit­i­cal bat­tle­ground for forces try­ing to sup­port or thwart Ira­nian at­tempts to se­cure sup­ply routes stretch­ing from Beirut to Tehran.

Cat­alo­nian may­ors show unity.


More than 700 may­ors from Cat­alo­nia met Satur­day in Barcelona in a show of strength amid pres­sure from Spain’s central gov­ern­ment not to hold an in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum for the north­east­ern re­gion.

Po­lit­i­cal ten­sions in Spain are in­creas­ing as the pro­posed voting date of Oct. 1 nears. The Cata­lan gov­ern­ment has been scram­bling to push for­ward the vote, de­spite the central gov­ern­ment’s warn­ings that lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are not al­lowed to use pub­lic build­ings for it and may­ors can be legally pros­e­cuted for it.

New elec­tions in Ice­land likely Nov. 4.

Ice­land’s pres­i­dent on Satur­day ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion of the vol­canic is­land’s prime min­is­ter, who says a new elec­tion mostly likely will be held on Nov. 4.

Prime Min­is­ter Bjarni Benedik­ts­son lost his ninemonth-old, cen­ter-right coali­tion after one party quit over an at­tempt by the prime min­is­ter’s fa­ther to help clear the name of a con­victed pe­dophile.

Pres­i­dent Gudni Th. Jo­han­nes­son met Satur­day with Benedik­ts­son and was meet­ing with other party lead­ers later.

A small cen­trist party, Bright Fu­ture, quit the rul­ing coali­tion Fri­day after it emerged that Benedik­ts­son’s fa­ther had writ­ten a let­ter urg­ing a par­don for Hjalti Sig­ur­jon Hauks­son, who was con­victed in 2004 of rap­ing his step­daugh­ter al­most ev­ery day for 12 years.

Bri­tish ca­noeist miss­ing in jun­gle. PAULO» Brazil­ian

SAO navy pa­trol boats and he­li­copters are search­ing for a Bri­tish woman re­ported miss­ing while ca­noe­ing on the Solimoes River in the north­ern jun­gle state of Ama­zonas.

The navy says in a state­ment that the 43-year-old woman was be­tween the cities of Co­da­jas and Coari when she ac­ti­vated an emer­gency lo­ca­tor Sept. 13. The navy did not iden­tify the woman.

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