From a Referendum’s Hope to Kirkuk’s Fall, Internal Rivalries Crippled Iraqi Kurds

Federal Iraqi security forces gather outside Alton Kupri, on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq, Oct. 19, 2017 (AP photo by Khalid Mohammed).
Federal Iraqi security forces gather outside Alton Kupri, on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq, Oct. 19, 2017 (AP photo by Khalid Mohammed).
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Events in Iraq this week will go down as one of the greatest debacles in the living memory of many Iraqi Kurds. On Monday, the confrontation between the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government of President Masoud Barzani and Iraq’s central government escalated dramatically when Baghdad launched a major military offensive to retake the multiethnic, oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Kurdish forces had seized control of the city in 2014 in the vacuum created by the advance of the self-proclaimed Islamic State and the retreat of Iraqi troops. Less than 15 hours after the start of the Kirkuk offensive, a coalition of regular […]

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