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

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs