Monday, June 23, 2014

US Blocks Emergence of Kurdistan

Left out following World War 1, when countries were carved out of the deceased Ottoman Empire, Kurdistan appears to be miraculously re-emerging, correcting an historic mistake.

Kurdish Advances -Jonathan Spyer

Iraq is now divided on a de facto basis into a Shi'ite south and center, including Baghdad, a Sunni, ISIS-dominated west and a Kurdish-ruled north.

The biggest winners from this situation, apart from ISIS itself, are the Iraqi Kurds. The conflict between the Sunni jihadis and the Iran-supported Baghdad authorities has enabled the Kurds to add a number of key building blocks to the nearly completed edifice of Kurdish independence in the area once known as northern Iraq.

Largely ignored by the Western media, the Kurds have been quietly building their autonomy in three northern provinces [as] granted to them by the Iraqi Constitution of 2005.

In the weeks prior to the current crisis in Iraq, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) began to independently export crude oil, via Turkey, without seeking the approval of Nouri al-Maliki's government in Baghdad.

What all this means is that there exists today an economically powerful, politically stable, well-defended Kurdish entity, with a population of 5 million people, in what was once northern Iraq. The effective collapse of any authority on the part of Baghdad over this entity means that the latter is now a Kurdish state in all but name.

So will the KRG soon declare independence, turning the de facto state that the Kurds have quietly built up into a de jure sovereign area? The answer is that ... open declaration of independence by the Kurds remains unlikely.

A source in the KRG told this reporter that Turkish opposition to any declaration of Kurdish statehood had been the main obstacle to any such move. Turkish lobbying in Washington and in the capitals of Europe meant that Western countries remained opposed to Kurdish independence.

The US has also, for its own reasons, remained throughout staunchly in favor of the "territorial integrity" of Iraq.

[A]s long as the clear US and Western position remains (somewhat bafflingly) opposed to the aspirations of the powerful and openly pro-Western Kurdish de facto sovereign entity in northern Iraq, its independence is likely to remain undeclared.
[The Jerusalem Post]

Israel Receives Shipment of Kurdish Oil - Julia Payne 
A tanker began unloading crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan at a port in Israel on Friday...     

The new export route to the Turkish port of Ceyhan is designed to bypass Baghdad's federal pipeline system.

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