Saturday, December 1, 2012

Iraqi PM Warns of 'Ethnic Conflict' with Kurds

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki today warned of the danger of ethnic conflict in Iraq, after negotiations between Baghdad and the Kurdistan autonomous government stalled this week.

“If conflict erupts, it would be unfortunate and painful, and it will be an ethnic conflict not in the interest of Kurds nor Arabs nor Turkmen,” Maliki told a news conference in Baghdad. (AFP, 1 December)

Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani has demanded that Baghdad scrap the Dajleh (Tigris) Operations Command, a newly formed military command created by Maliki to operate in disputed territories claimed by Kurds and Arabs. The talks to find a negotiated settlement over the issue ended on Friday without any agreement.  

Maliki defended federal troop movements in the north, saying it is the army's right “to be in any part of Iraq.” He did not, however, respond to questions that if such moves were provocations against the Kurds. It seems that Maliki’s tendency is to resolve the issue of disputed territories by military force. The Kurds have vowed to defend their positions if attacked. And a military conflict in Kurdistan could push the Kurds to declare independence from Baghdad.

File photo: Iraqi Premier Nouri al-Maliki (AFP)


Mark Pyruz said...

I've said it many times: Iraq's security foci are to the west, northwest and north. Not east, as an unintended consequence of OIF.

Anonymous said...

It would be good for Iran if the Kurds in Iraq, Turkey would separate themselves from those states.
Then Iraqi Shiites would have to cooperate closely with Iran and an access to Syria would be much easier.
Iran would obviously find proper solutions for its Kurds...


Anonymous said...

I believe that the Kurds are setting themselves for a losing conflict, which they will not win as all regional powers are against them. An old Kurdish proverb describes the Kurds as their own worst enemies. The Iraqi state simply can not allow a lawless illegal statelet in their North which supports terrorism, gun-running, smuggling and crime in the region.

Conflict is only as matter of time as Iraq rearms and reasserts its authority over the Kurdish badlands. Mullah Mustafa Barzani harboured similar delusions and now his son is leading the Iraqi Kurds to disaster.