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Patrick Cockburn · Underground in Raqqa · LRB 19 October 2017
KRG leaders wrongly believed that Turkey and Iran wouldn’t want to jeopardise their sizeable economic interests in Iraqi Kurdistan by objecting to the vote. But neither Turkey nor Iran can countenance the prospect of independence for Iraqi Kurds since it would inflame their own Kurdish minorities. Turkey’s reaction was especially hostile: the Kurds, Erdoğan said, ‘are not forming an independent state, they are opening a wound in the region to twist a knife in’. Barzani had cultivated good relations with Erdoğan, who now says that the relationship is finished: the KRG, ‘to which we provided all support, took steps against us, it will pay the price’. In future, he says, Turkey will deal only with the Iraqi government. Iraqi Kurds are hoping the US will once again come to their rescue by mediating between them and their opponents: they say the roads into Kurdistan are still open and that nothing has yet changed on the ground. The KRG may survive its present isolation but the risk is growing that the Kurdish quasi-states will go the same way as the caliphate.
ISIS  IslamicState  Syria  Iraq  Raqqa  tunnels  civilWar  Kurds  Erbil  Kobani  Turkey  Peshmerga  YPG  KRG  Rojava  territory  referendum  BarzaniMasoud  Erdogan  independence  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=CockburnPatrick 
october 2017 by petej
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