Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Military Space News .




THE STANS
Kurds' feud could ruin independence dream
by Staff Writers
Erbil, Iraq (UPI) Feb 6, 2013


Iraq's Kurds, part of the world's largest stateless ethnic group, are pushing closer to what has long seemed the impossible dream of independence.

But deep rivalries between their two main factions, which in the past led to civil war, could wreck an alliance that over the last decade has put semiautonomous Iraqi Kurdistan on the threshold of statehood.

"The alliance at the base of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government is straining amid mounting regional tensions," the U.S. global security consultancy Stratfor.

"The underlying rifts between the two parties will widen as a broader competition intensifies between Turkey and Iran."

As has happened in recent decades, Iraq's neighbors, with restive Kurdish minorities of their own, have encouraged the differences between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to ensure that no independent Kurdish state emerges in Iraq.

Iraq has some 4.5 million Kurds but there are another 25 million spread over Turkey, Iran and Syria.

Stratfor noted that "in these tougher times, the cohesion of the KRG will be tested" as competing outside powers seek to exploit the divisions between the KDP, led by Massoud Barzani, currently president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the PUK, headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

The PUK draws its strength from the urban left in Kurdistan's secular southwest bordering Iran, with which Talabani has frequently allied himself.

The KDP is more tribal and conservative, long dominated by the Barzani family whose iconic patriarch Mullah Mustafa, Massoud's late father, waged a separatist guerrilla war against Baghdad from the 1950s.

The party controls the northwest of mountainous Kurdistan, which borders Turkey, long hostile to the Iraqi Kurds but now their unlikely ally.

The December incapacitation of Talabani, elected Iraq's president after the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein, has heightened the sense of crisis not just in Kurdistan, but in Iraq as a whole.

Talabani, 79, was laid low by a stroke that probably has put an end to his political career.

This has weakened the PUK at a critical time, when the Kurds' 2005 power-sharing agreement in the three provinces that make up Iraqi Kurdistan is up for renegotiation.

The PUK wants to renew the agreement, which gave the parties equal power in the KRG. But the Barzani clan's been extending its control at the PUK's expense and that's likely to be stepped up now that Talabani's out the frame.

For years he's been the great facilitator of Iraq's turbulent politics, containing the growing rift between the KRG and the Baghdad government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, over land and especially control of Kurdistan's oil reserves of 45 billion barrels, the key to its independence.

The possibility of Iraq fracturing has thus increased and the Kurdish factions are looking toward old enemy Turkey, which has offered to build pipelines to transport the KRG's oil and gas exports to the Mediterranean, bypassing Baghdad's control.

Over the years, the two Kurdish parties, each with their armies of turbaned fighters known as peshmerga -- "those who face death" -- found it expedient to forge alliances with Turkey or Iran.

In the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, the KDP was backed by Iran, the PUK by Saddam, which showed how far Talabani was prepared to go to seek supremacy of Kurdistan. They reached a tenuous truce in 1986. But in 1994, just two years after the KRG was formed under U.S. auspices, full-scale civil war erupted.

The parties reunited after the Americans toppled Saddam. That alliance has held for a decade.

That it's splintering now is due in part to the emergence of a third Kurdish party, Goran, formed in 2009 by Kurds fed up with both the PUK and the KDP.

"With Kurdish politics in such flux," Stratfor observed, "neither party cares to test the voters' will in fresh elections. In June, provincial elections were delayed for the fourth time -- this time indefinitely."

Veteran Iraqi analyst Salah Nasrawi says Talabani's departure from the political arena will unravel the "package of powers" exercised by Talabani, Maliki and Barzani in recent years.

"If one of the three figures in the package disappears, the package has to be renegotiated," he explained. "It will be nearly impossible to replace Talabani."

If he dies, the PUK and KDP will be plunged into a power struggle that will destabilize an already shaky Iraq.

.


Related Links
News From Across The Stans






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





THE STANS
India 'concerned' over China running Pakistan port
Bangalore, India (AFP) Feb 6, 2013
India's defence minister said Wednesday that New Delhi was concerned by Pakistan's decision last month to transfer management of a strategically located deep-sea port to China. "In one sentence, it is a matter of concern for us," A.K. Antony told reporters in Bangalore where he inaugurated the Indian air show. "My answer is very straigtforward and simple." On January 30, Pakistan approve ... read more


THE STANS
Boeing-led Missile Defense Team Completes GMD Flight Test

NGC Fire Control Play Key Role in Missile Defense Test

Missile defense EEKV shows value

First Patriot missiles 'operational' on Turkey-Syria border

THE STANS
Israel deploys 3rd missile system to north: reports

Lockheed Martin Receives US Army Contract for Guided MLRS Rocket Production

India wheels out new long-range missile in annual parade

Raytheon awarded contract for HARM upgrade

THE STANS
Elbit Systems Introduces its Hermes 900 UAS in a New Configuration Adapted for the Maritime Mission

US needs to keep up drone war against Qaeda: Panetta

Northrop Grumman's Next-Gen Fire Scout to Beef Up Avionics Protection

Elbit Systems and Windward Team to Introduce Advanced Maritime Surveillance Solution for India

THE STANS
TACLANE-1G Encryptor Certified by NSA

Boeing Completes FAB-T Software Qualification Testing For AEHF and Milstar Birds

Smartphone to hold integrated warrior gear

Raytheon offers Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal Soultion

THE STANS
Commander sees women in elite US special forces

Canada receives upgraded LAV III

Marines Get Improved Precision Extended Range Munitions

Raytheon, US Navy demonstrate new dual targeting capability for JSOW C-1

THE STANS
Global firms eye lucrative contracts at India air show

Israel seeks major arms deals with India

Rheinmetall, Cassidian gain orders

Shoigu: Russia seeks army 'modernization'

THE STANS
Outside View: The trials of Chuck Hagel

Asian astrologers warn of sss-stormy Year of Snake

US, Egypt defense chiefs back security ties: Pentagon

China radar-lock on Japan ship 'dangerous': PM Abe

THE STANS
A new genre of 'intelligent' micro- and nanomotors

Flat boron by the numbers

Notre Dame studies benefits and threats of nanotechnology research

A nano-gear in a nano-motor inside




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement