Remember last year the big mash up over the “Brexit”….that referendum where the UK would leave the EU?
Well there is a similar thing happening in the Middle East…..on 25 Sept of this year the Kurds will vote on a referendum to leave the country of Iraq……
It was an eventful summer, especially in the Middle East. It all began with the Qatar kerfuffle on June 5, followed soon thereafter with a change in Saudi Arabia’s line of succession. Then came violence and protests over security measures at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem. Mosul and Tel Afar were liberated in Iraq. The American-backed Syrian Defense Forces marched on Raqqa, the self-declared Islamic State’s “capital.” Yemen descended further into a humanitarian disaster with 600,000 cases of cholera and imminent famine. Morocco exploded in protest over the death of a fishmonger last fall at the hands of police. Iran continued to consolidate its power around the Middle East. The Trump administration withheld or delayed about $300 million in military assistance to Egypt over “geopolitical and human rights concerns.” Turkey’s massive purge continued. And prosecutors in Israel edged closer to indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for corruption.
There was another story of potentially enormous consequences that received scant attention, however. Throughout the summer Iraqi Kurds prepared for a referendum on independence that will be held on Sept. 25. For the better part of a century, Iraq’s Kurds have been trying to undo what the League of Nations did under British pressure in 1925 when it attached the former Ottoman province of Mosul to Iraq. Their incorporation into Iraq has been an unhappy experience for the Kurds, to say the least.
There are very few people that see this referendum as a good thing for Iraq or the larger Middle East…..that is with the exception of the Israelis…..
The president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masoud Barzani, on Tuesdayrejected an Iraqi parliament vote authorizing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi “to take all measures” to reject the Kurdish independence referendum and preserve Iraqi unity. Speaking in Kirkuk following the vote, Barzani vowed that the referendum would still go ahead on September 25. Abadi has threatened that Kurds will lose all their political gains if they proceed with the vote and instead urged them to come to Baghdad for a dialogue. While the referendum has little international support, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahureaffirmedTuesday that Israel “supports the Kurdish people’s legitimate attempts at self-determination.”
The predictions of the aftermath are dire…..that the violence is far from over even with the defeat of ISIS…..plus they see the Kurds expanding to all parts of the Middle East….Syria, Turkey, Iran, etc…..none will be good for the well being of the region.