Iraqi soldiers rolled into Kirkuk to take back control of the area's oil fields, air base, power plant and refinery.
More than 92 percent of voters approved Monday's referendum, and Kurdish leaders hope that will kick-start independence talks.
The referendum, if successful, could kick-start secession talks between Baghdad and the Kurdish regional capital, Irbil.
The U.S. asked the government of Iraq's Kurdistan region to hold off on its push for independence to instead focus on fighting ISIS.
The YPG is a dominant force within the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Protesters in favor of government reforms have demonstrated in Iraq for months. On Saturday, they stormed the Green Zone and then Parliament.
Kurdish groups have drawn up a plan for their own federal autonomous region within Syria, but the country's neighbors aren't on board.
The U.S. and Russia are among the world powers attempting to negotiate a cease-fire in the Syrian civil war. They're hoping for a deal soon.
Iraq says Turkey is infringing on its sovereignty by stationing troops near the ISIS-held city of Mosul. Turkey says it's just a routine procedure.
Tahir Elci was shot and killed while speaking out against the violence between Kurdish groups and the Turkish government.
There was already a lot of tension building between Russia and Turkey before the latter shot down a Russian jet.