Iraqi Kurds Ask US to Appoint Special Envoy to Mediate Dispute

Kurdish Officials Concerned Iraq Will Continue Crackdown

Still reeling after an October military offensive against their territory, Iraqi Kurdish officials are now asking that the US appoint a special envoy to mediate ongoing disputes between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi central government.

Falah Mustafa Bakir

In late September, the KRG held a referendum in which over 92% of the voters supported independence from Iraq. The Iraqi military responded with a military push that quickly seized all territory the Kurds took from ISIS, and then pushed into an important border region.

Since then, Iraqi officials say they intend to revoke essentially all of the KRG’s autonomy to punish them over the vote. This includes control over oil exports, and a massive cut in revenue sharing into the KRG’s territory going forward.

The KRG foreign affairs head Falah Mustafa Bakir’s call for an envoy, and calls for international support to ease ongoing sanctions, aren’t just about what’s already happened, but what else is liable to happen. Iraqi officials continue to insist that they reserve the right to resume their military offensive whenever they disagree with the Kurds on other matters, and with independence seemingly long forgotten, Iraqi Kurds are just hoping they can avoid more calamitous losses.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.