News / Middle East

Instability in Iraq Fuels Kurdish Independence Move

Instability in Iraq Fuels Kurdish Independence Movei
X
Al Pessin
July 03, 2014 8:19 PM
The president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government has told VOA the situation in the country has increased the urgency of creating an independent Kurdish state. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Al Pessin

The president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government has told VOA the situation in the country has increased the urgency of creating an independent Kurdish state.

Peshmerga fighters from the Kurdish autonomous region have responded to territorial gains by Sunni militants with moves of their own, taking the disputed city of Kirkuk, and surrounding areas.
 
Now, Iraqi Kurdistan regional President Massoud Barzani told VOA this was the time to create a Kurdish state.
 
“This is a natural right that must be achieved. Independence must be achieved. I believe now the conditions are also favorable for independence,” he said.

The United States continues to oppose Kurdish independence. "No change of policy here.  We've said that a unified Iraq is the strongest Iraq," said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.
 
But Kurdish leaders have a strategy designed to make independence palatable to the United States.
 
Speaking via Skype, Bill Park of London’s King’s College said, "They want to present themselves as not so much declaring independence from a functioning, ongoing Iraqi state, but being forced into independence as a consequence of the chaos around them."

That was clear in Barzani’s interview with VOA's Persian Service.

“The situation is chaotic and scary. Now along a 1,050-kilometer border we face terrorists and radical groups and people who are unknown to us. This is a new situation. I doubt if Iraq will go back to what it was,” he said.
 
And Barzani said the past strong opposition to Kurdish independence was no more.

“We have discussed this with the United States, with all sides, and with the Europeans. In the past, reaction was severe, but we don’t see that anymore,” he said.
 
Bill Park said still, Barzani had to be careful not to alienate his old friends in Washington, new friends in Turkey and Iran, and even some of his own people.
 
“It is a kind of high risk strategy, but it’s a lot less risky now than it’s ever been in the past,” he said.

Indeed, many experts believe that, whatever happens in Kurdistan, Iraq will never be as it was before the Sunni militants took over large areas in the west and center of the country.
 
American political consultant Sam Patten has advised Iraqi Kurds and moderate Sunnis and spoke to Alhurra television.

“The relationship that existed until now between Baghdad and the regions will never be the same," he said. "The regions that are no longer under Baghdad’s control are going to have to enjoy some degree of autonomy that they haven’t seen before,” said Patten.

The militant Sunni fighters now call themselves the Islamic State.  Whether they can make that stick remains to be seen, but they may have created the opportunity for Kurds to fulfill their long held dream of statehood, and placed the future of the Iraqi state in question.  

You May Like

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 04, 2014 2:38 AM
Obama insisted on pulling out of Bush's mess, without ensuring the Iraqis that he was aware of the consequences they would be facing. So what if this was anybody's mess, done for whatever reason, even in lies. Bush lied, OK, we got that from you Obama. Bush made a mess of Iraq, OK, Obama, we heard that from you over and over again! Even that the majority of our great nation agreed with what Obama was spewing about Bush, and with a lot of credibility (Bush lied), Obama let the US and the entire world know that he, the magnificient Obama, knew what to do and how to do it, for Iraq and the Iraqi people. Obama pulled our guys out of Iraq as quickly as he could once he was sworn in! All the top brass and military experts ALL told him that doing such would jeopardize the Iraqi people because their own defense was not ready, their own government had no control over the country. But being the Commander-in-Chief, Obama knew better than the people who had spent their entire careers in the military machine. Bush didn't do that, Obama did. Nobody will stand up to this fiasco that Obama hasn't taken any, not one single iota, responsibility that HE promised everyone that he knew what to do and HE would do it right! Bush is bad, m'kay!

OK, let's say Bush started a fire, but said it was done by lightning. We found out later that Bush was the arsonist behind the fire. Everyone was furious, and Obama said that he had the best strategy to put that fire out if you elect him. We did elect him. He told the firefighters, that had been fighting the fire, to stop and go home, there is no need to fight this fire anymore. Even though the firefighters said that the fire will get worse, Obama said that HE has it all under control. The fire is now spinning out of control, but no one will give any credit to Obama for allowing this to happen to a nation that WE were responsible for crippling in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In Response

by: huron from: chicago
July 04, 2014 8:50 AM
Funny, try watching Obama in 2002 before he went to the Sebate in washington, he said Iraq war should not happen and bush cheney went ahead.

Obama said the war if it was allowed to happen would fragment Iraq into 3 with Kurds, Sunnys and Shia fighting each other, as the 3 cant live side by side.. Obama was proved 100% correct, the 3 ethnic groups have there own problems.

Now Iraq as not one Dictator that it had with Saddam Hussein, its as 5000 dictators, some in Kurdistan, some in Baghdad, and others in the Ba-athist parts of Iraq like Mosul.

Iraq is not Americas problem, its the Middle Easts Problem as the Saudi's fund the Sunny's and have been found to be funding ISIL, so as Turkey.. Iran funds the Shia, and the Kurds leaders just sell anything or smuggle anything to enrich themseleves .

Obama said troops out, the USA citizens have backed that 85% in favour, the USA needs to stay out, let the Russians, Chinese, Iranians sort out the carp. Its not our war, we have lost enough of our people, fighting in Iraq for nothing

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs