News / Middle East

Instability in Iraq Fuels Kurdish Independence Move

Instability in Iraq Fuels Kurdish Independence Movei
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

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs