The Kurds have been fighting for decades for independence. Right now its on the backburner with Syria but it could go hot.
Iraq's embattled Shiite PM visited northern Kurdish region in bid to melt ice with Kurds
Iraq's Prime Minister on Sunday made a visit to the country's self-ruled northern Kurdish region in a bid to melt the ice between the Kurds and Shiite-led central government in Baghdad, while a suicide attack in Baghdad claimed the lives of seven people and wounded 18 others.
Nouri al-Maliki held a Cabinet meeting in Irbil — the first in the Kurdish regional capital since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein — as part of an initiative started last year to better understand the needs of the provinces. Al-Maliki and government ministers arrived by military plane, where they were received on a red carpet by the region's president, Massoud Barzani.
Barzani leads the Kurds' largely autonomous and increasingly prosperous northern region, which has multiple government ministries, its own security forces and other trappings of an independent state. It remains part of Iraq, however, and relies heavily on a share of the federal budget controlled by Baghdad to meet its budget needs.
Arguments over dueling claims to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other disputed territories running along the Kurdish region's border with the rest of Iraq are one of the most serious threats to Iraq's stability. An exchange of fire in one disputed city in November led both sides to send military reinforcements and heavy weapons into the contested area.
The Kurds have signed dozens of oil exploration deals with foreign energy companies over Baghdad's objections, including U.S. oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., and Total S.A. of France. The central government does not recognize the Kurdish agreements, which offer more generous terms than its own. It believes it should manage the country's oil policy and wants all exports to travel through state-run pipelines.
The Kurds are working on a pipeline to ship oil produced in their region into neighboring Turkey and earlier this year began trucking oil across their northern border, prompting charges of smuggling and threats of lawsuits from Baghdad.
Immediate solutions to pending issues are not expected during al-Maliki's visit, the first since 2010 when Iraqi politicians converged to end a months-long dispute over establishing the government after national elections produced no clear winner.of the meeting as al-Maliki was calling on Iraqis to come together so that they can face what he called "the danger" brought on by regional unrest mainly in neighboring Syria where Sunni-led rebels have been fighting for more than two years to topple Bashar Assad.
Fears are growing that the ongoing fighting in Syria could further destabilize Shiite-led Iraq's already fragile security. Predominantly Sunni rebels in Syria, including the al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, or the Nusra Front, are fighting to try to topple Syrian Assad. His Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shiite Islam and is backed by Shiite powerhouse Iran.
"The region is going through a new strong storm, a sectarian storm, a storm of political challenges and a storm of confusions in many countries in the region based on different reasons," al-Maliki said. "The most dangerous one is the comeback of the extremist organizations like al-Qaida and Jabhat al-Nusra and others who are backed by (hardline clerics') fatwas," he added.
"That has brought back the ghost of the killing not only to Iraq but to the region and as Iraq is part of the region and part of its fabric general and that we started to be affected by the storm the region is going through," he said.
Shiites are one of the favorite targets for hardline Sunni insurgents who consider them infidels. Violence has spiked in Iraq in recent weeks, raising fears of a return to widespread sectarian bloodshed.
This is a story that is such a black eye for America. The hard part was done, but instead of following history, and leaving soldiers there to help each side come to an agreement that helped all sides, we pulled out, leaving these people to figure it out themselves.
This was a case of Politics over ruling common sense.
Just saw that problems with Kurds is not only Iraq but Syria itself. The Kurds militias are basically taking over oil rich towns in northern Syria and they are keeping an eye on the al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra militias who are manuvering in this area. I thought the Kurds were only in Iraq but now i see they are in Syria too.
I wonder how Obama figures how giving weapons to on coming out of this one. The Obama administration supplies conservative Syrian rebels with antitank and antiaircraft weapons and pumps 2 million a month into their treasury. The net result is that either the Syrian government is overthrown or the conservative rebels lose and the rebels go into guerrilla style warfare in Syria and neighboring countries using the supplied weapons and money to continue their war. If the conservative rebels - whoever the heck they are - win the battle then they have to fight the al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra or the or the Kurds. Sounds like an NBA tournment line up. The sad thing is that the US is looking like a war mongering nation while Russia looks like the peacemaker.
All that is needed now is McCain flying over to Syria and coming back with the
story that American boots are needed on the ground because it is too late for a
The stupidity of the whole thing is that this thing is not to be contained in Syria it is like a wild fire and it cannot be contained by surges of American troops. So sad too bad for the troops in harms way.