ISIS is fighting for its very existence in Iraq…..and while all that was happening the Kurds decided to push the buttons of Baghdad and vote for independence.
After the vote Iraqi government went batcrap crazy! The Kurds overplayed the hand just a bit….
The Iraqi Kurds have just announced that they’re freezing the results of their independence referendum, which is bureaucratese for saying that they don’t intend to act on it. Which, in turn, is another way of offering a ceasefire to the government troops that have displaced them from Kirkuk and environs. The Kurds gambled and lost. It seems they’d hoped that their western allies would come to their aid, but none did. This, despite loud protestations by sympathetic commentators in the West that the Kurds’ loss was a victory for Iranian hegemony over Iraq—in particular, a victory for Iran’s IRGC commander in the region, Qasim Suleimani. And even though the State Department denied any Iranian participation, it’s unlikely that without Tehran’s concrete intervention the Iraqis had the capability to overcome the Peshmerga so swiftly. As an example, this report entitled “How Iran helped Baghdad seize back Kirkuk” that ran in the Middle Eastern news website Al-Monitor portrays Tehran as the main driver of Baghdad’s success, along with other factors such as Kurds’ disunity and their shortages of ammunition. Others suggested that the Iraqi army (illegally) used their US-supplied Abrams tanks in the demarche which, if true, would have compelled the US to punish Baghdad in some way, perhaps even to defend the Kurds actively. Washington chose to look the other way.
The Kurds are now playing with a level head…..sort of…..
America’s Ambassador to Iraq is attempting to restart negotiations between Iraq’s Kurds and the Iraqi Government. The U.S. is hoping the resignation of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani on November 1, 2017 will incentivize the Iraqi Government to accept a compromise with Iraq’s Kurds. Masoud Barzani was the driving force behind the Kurdish independence referendum on September 25th, which provoked the ongoing retaliation by the Iraqi Government and Iran. The US state department is attempting to unite Iraq’s Kurds behind the region’s Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and his deputy Qubad Talabani in order to resolve the dispute with Baghdad ahead of the 2018 elections. U.S ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman met with them in Arbil on November 2nd. He relayed the US position that the long term stability of Iraqi Kurdistan depends on a unified and federal Iraq, and that the two sides must find a “peaceful resolution of disputes under the Iraqi constitution.”
In the 1990’s the US sold out the Kurds and looks like we are doing it again……
I stood at a border crossing as thousands of Yazidis and other refugees fled ISIS attacks on Mosul and nearby cities. Tens of thousands of refugees flooded into the Kurdish Region of Iraq as Kurdish relief workers greeted them with water and food.
It was August 2014, and I was there on assignment as a freelance correspondent. The Obama administration had started bombing northern Iraq just a few days earlier. The explanation given at the time, now long forgotten, was the US would bomb for a limited time to protect the Kurdish capital of Erbil and stop the attacks on Yazidis.
Kurds will conform to the law of the land and not secede….for now……
Iraq’s Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum in September, defying the central government in Baghdad – which had ruled the ballot illegal – as well as neighbouring Turkey and Iran which have their own Kurdish minorities.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Tuesday it would respect the November 6 ruling by the Supreme Federal Court, which declared that no Iraqi province could secede.
“We believe that this decision must become a basis for starting an inclusive national dialogue between (Kurdish authorities in) Erbil and Baghdad to resolve all disputes,” the KRG said in a statement.
Kurds will play ball for now….but how long will this nicety last?
They will live with a unified Iraq….really?
Apparently putting an end to the independence push which began with September’s referendum, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has issued a statement today promising to respect a Supreme Court ruling that precludes independence, and emphasizes the “united Iraq.”
The Iraqi courts insisted that there is no constitutional method through which any part of Iraq could ever secede. Iraqi Kurdistan was in the process of such a secession before October offensives by the Iraqi military quickly got them to back off the plan.
This new statement appears to be an attempt to placate Iraq’s central government, which has been talking further punishment for the Kurdish regions, and has suggested the military operation could be restarted at any time.
Independence has been a long-standing goal for Kurds in Iraq and elsewhere in the region, but so far none had come as close as the KRG to effecting a formal declaration. At this point, it looks less likely than ever they’ll manage to achieve independence, or even retain previous autonomy.
Then what the Hell was the independence referendum vote all about if they had NO inclination of session? What game are the Kurds playing?