KRG adding fuel to the regional fires

Published 09.06.2017 01:10

The KRG's declaration that it will be holding a referendum next September is an irrational decision that will surely lead to another turmoil in the problematic region

News that the Kurds of Iraq will be holding a referendum to proclaim independence on Sept. 25 is yet another twist in the endless series of complications and problems that are turning our region into a nightmare zone.

The Daesh terror group has already set the groundwork to destabilize our region wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq and exporting its terrorist activities on a wide international scale from London to the Philippines.

Add to all this the threat of Persian expansionism in the region from Yemen to Iraq and Syria and the potential of a Shiite-Sunni conflict… The deepening rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the way the United States is acting like a catalyzer further complicates the picture.

As if all these were not enough, the decision of a long list of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia to cut ties with Qatar is not only tearing the Sunni ranks apart but is hurting Arab and Islamic unity.

Then you have the Daesh attacks in Tehran which left scores dead and wounded on Wednesday and the picture is even more messed up.

So in the midst of all this menace and malice, you suddenly hear the Kurds are trying to sever ties with Baghdad and vote for independence and as if this was not enough they say the province of Kirkuk will also vote in this referendum.

This is a prescription for disaster not only for Iraq but also for the Kurds of Iraq.

No one will really accept a landlocked Kurdish state in the region surrounded by Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq and to add Kirkuk to the picture and make it a part of a "Kurdish state" in the north of Iraq is, to say the least, "suicide" for the Kurds.

Turkey has excellent relations with the Barzani administration that is running Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), but that is because it is the regional government of Iraq and nothing else. The Iraqi Kurds depend heavily on Turkey and Ankara has already told the Barzani administration that such a referendum is as "very bad" idea.

Iran which is the mentor of the Shiite dominated Iraqi regime in Baghdad is dead against this Kurdish state that would border its land and also that will divide Iraq.

The Baghdad regime is already hopping mad about prospects of losing a chunk of its territory which means the disintegration of the country and the Shiite militia may well turn against the peshmerga forces of Barzani which would mean disaster for all sides.

The Americans and Russians are against harming the territorial integrity of Iraq. The Arab states are all dead against such a Kurdish state that would mean the destruction of an Arab state.

The Kirkuk province is dominated by Kurds and yet the city itself is a Turkish city that still hosts a massive Turkmen population as well as Sunni and Shiite Arabs. To add the city to Barzani's referendum adventure will only create further havoc.

The Iraqi Kurdish territories have oil but experts say the reserves will not finance a Kurdish state. So the Kurds want Kirkuk, which holds 40 percent of Iraq's oil, and thus have enough oil to maintain state activities. Yet of course they have to answer the vital question of how they will sell that oil and who will buy it. Iraq will say its oil has been hijacked and scuttle the Kurds through legal means if not by military means.

At the end of the day, Kurds have to answer the crucial question of how they can sustain a state with no money, no funds and no friends.

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