Having faced massive military losses since their September 25 vote to declare independence, Iraqi Kurdistan may be losing its substantial historical autonomy as well, according to Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder Abadi.
While praising Iraq’s military victories, Abadi said that from now on, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) could have no say over international borders, control of their own airports, and most significantly, no control over oil exports.
This effectively downgrades the KRG to little more than a provincial government that controls a couple of provinces. Abadi says that he won’t accept just a “symbolic” presence at borders and airports, but rather that Iraq’s central government must have exclusive control.
The KRG had anticipated conflict with Iraq over its independence bid, but appeared to over-estimate the ability of the Peshmerga to defend Kurdish soil from the Iraqi military. Apart from a few towns, Kurdish territory has largely fallen without a fight.