On September 25, people in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq and a number of disputed areas voted in a controversial referendum that found overwhelming support for secession.
The poll, which was declared illegal by the federal government in Baghdad and denounced by neighnouring countries, resulted in 92 percent of people voting in favour of splitting from Iraq.
Yet, less than a month later, Kurds found themselves without about 40 percent of the territory they previously held as they withdrew from areas being disputed with Baghdad.
In a rapid advance, Iraqi forces took full control of the oil-rich province of Kirkuk which Kurdish Peshmerga fighters had seized after the Iraqi army fled a major offensive by ISIL in 2014.
|Kurdish region: Loss of territory [Al Jazeera]|
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies