While the war against ISIS inside Iraq looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future, Iraqi Kurdistan is already looking toward the post-war period, and sees secession as a top priority of the post-war era, despite Obama Administration opposition.
US troops on the ground say they’ve been informed the Kurds intent to secede from Iraq “whether the US likes it or not,” and is planning to take the northern city of Kirkuk, an oil-rich city that is historically Kurdish but has recently had a large Arab population, with them.
Tensions between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Shi’ite-dominated central government have been growing for years, with disputes over oil payments bringing the Kurds close to de facto separation several times in the recent past.
The ISIS war has given the KRG an opportunity to expand its territorial possessions along the frontier, and to acquire weapons from foreign powers looking to turn the tide against ISIS. By the time the war is over, the Kurds are likely to have enough power to be able to successfully break away from Iraq.