Kurdish protesters gather outside the United Nations compound in Irbil, Iraq, on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Alice Martins)
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The new top-level domain ".krd" gives Kurds a separate space in the virtual world at a time when they are gaining legitimacy on the ground through their alliance with the U.S.-led coalition against Daesh (ISIS).Often described as the largest ethnic group without their own state, the Kurds consider themselves victims of a pact that partitioned their homeland between Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq after World War I.The Kurds were granted the ".krd" domain name in 2013 by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that manages Internet addresses.A Kurdish leader in Iraq, where Kurds have achieved the highest degree of autonomy, is vowing to hold a nonbinding referendum on independence this year as they battle Daesh militants.Afandi said Iran had lodged the complaint too late to prevent the Kurds from obtaining a domain, joining other aspiring states such as Spain's Catalonia, which had earlier obtained the ".cat" domain name from ICANN.
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