For the two families that govern the Kurdistan Region of Iraq — the Barzanis and Talabanis — the Islamic State’s rampage across Iraq this past summer represented an unprecedented opportunity. Taking advantage of the Iraqi army’s complete collapse, the Kurds captured the oil-rich area around Kirkuk on June 11.
Soon after taking Kirkuk, President Masoud Barzani called for a referendum on independence. And he has — since 2008 — advocated circumventing Baghdad and selling Kurdish oil directly on the international market with Turkey’s help. All of this struck the rest of Iraq as opportunism.
In the eyes of the K.R.G., however, it’s an insurance policy if Iraq collapses.… Seguir leyendo »