KIRKUK, IRAQ - JULY 03:  A soldier with the Kurdish peshmerga holds a Kurdish flag at an outpost on the edges of the contested city of Kirkuk on July 3, 2014 in Kirkuk, Iraq. On Thursday the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, asked Members of Parliament to start making plans for an independence referendum. American leaders and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's have urged the Kurds to back away from seeking independence.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)