Kurdish Officials Aim to Distance Themselves From Netanyahu Calls for Secession

Perceived Israeli Ties Could Hurt Kurdistan Regionally

Though Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials have made clear they are moving closer to secession from Iraq, they are trying to distance themselves from pro-secession comments made by Israel.

Kurdish envoy Bayan Abdul Rahman insisted the there was no coordination with Israel on the comments, nor does the KRG have any ties with Israel whatsoever.

It’s a difficult issue to manage for the KRG, as any perception of Israeli ties would fuel regional opposition to their independence, and many of their neighbors are on hostile terms with Israel.

At the same time, the KRG is still trying to get some US acquiescence on secession, and it’s undeniable that Israel has a lot of influence in DC. Balancing Israel’s ability to coax the US into changing policy with the hostility neighbors like Iran and Turkey could feel at having a perceived Israeli proxy on their border is going to be a challenge for Kurdish officials going forward, making Israel’s approval something of a double-edged sword.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.