Δευτέρα, 12 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

Εμφύλιος στο Ιρακινό Κουρδιστάν?

Το 1994 είχε γίνει εμφύλιος στο Ιρακινό Κουρδιστάν, ανάμεσα στο KDP που τα έχει καλά με την Τουρκία και τις ΗΠΑ, και το PUK που τα έχει καλά με το Ιράν  την Ρωσία και το PKK. Τώρα οι Κούρδοι του KDP θέλουν να εξάγουν πετρέλαιο και αέριο μέσω Τουρκίας, και οι Κούρδοι του PUK και του Gorran θέλουν μέσω Ιράν.

Στο μεταξύ το PKK σαμποτάρει τους αγωγούς Ιρακινού Κουρδιστάν-Τουρκίας, για να τους αναγκάσει να στείλουν μέσω Ιράν, και υπάρχει κίνδυνος για έναν νέο εμφύλιο ή και διάσπαση του Ιρακινού Κουρδιστάν, κάτι που εξυπηρετεί την Ρωσία και το Ιράν.



Άρθρα


 “What is the Turkish army really doing in Iraq?”, Σεπτέμβριος 2016
16η, 17η Παράγραφος
Turkey wants to maintain some form of regional power in these parts. Particularly now, it will have to start using proxies even more. … Turkey needs to rely on allies, and typical allies Turkey has had in northern Iraq have been the Barzanis and also the Nujaifis,” he added.
In 1994, a civil war erupted between the two main Kurdish factions in the north: the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which is the political party of the Barzani clan, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which was aligned with Iran and Ankara’s long-time enemy, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). That war paved the way “for an open-ended Turkish presence at several Iraqi bases with the KDP's tacit and gradually open cooperation,” according to an analysis published by the Washington Institute.
23η Παράγραφος
While the Turkish-backed FSA aim at Syrian Kurdish fighters, Turkish-backed Hashd al-Watani is working in cooperation with Kurdish peshmerga as they advance toward Mosul. But the militia still needs to prove its military capability, said Gen. Sirwan Barzani, a nephew of Massoud Barzani and the commander of a 120-kilometer-long (75-mile-long) frontline east of Mosul. “They are not good fighters for an offensive,” he told Al-Monitor, “but they are from the region; they are good for holding [recaptured] ground.”

“How new alliance among Iraq's Kurds might actually deepen divisions”, Ιούλιος 2016
Often touted as the main beneficiaries of Iraq's post-Saddam Hussein order, the Kurds obtained political recognition for their autonomous region in the country's 2005 constitution and have played what sometimes appears to be an outsized role in Iraqi politics. In key elections in 2005 and 2010, the Kurds' unity landed them the role of kingmakers, deciding who would get to sit in the coveted prime minister's office. Today, however, that unity appears to be history. The Kurds are now so fragmented that they apparently cannot agree on how to deal with the Baghdad government, jeopardizing their stature and position in the country.
An alliance formed in mid-May by two of Iraqi Kurdistan's main parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran, has had the ironic effect of bringing Kurdish differences to the surface. The rifts among the Kurdish groups originally stemmed primarily from disagreement over governance in Kurdistan and the failure to devise a viable power-sharing arrangement. Disappointed by what they viewed as unilateralism on the part of the hitherto dominant Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the PUK and Gorran signed a deal to join forces and form an alliance to be reckoned with in Kurdistan and in Baghdad. The PUK-Gorran bloc, with 30 seats in the Iraqi parliament, is larger than the KDP's, which has 28 parliamentarians — 3 of whom represent (Christian and Shabak) minorities.
The growing state of Kurdish division has now given birth to the PUK and Gorran perhaps seeking to assert themselves and their preferences not only in Kurdistan, but also in Kurdish relations with Baghdad. With regard to the latter, the PUK and Gorran are in favor of a more reconciliatory approach, while the KDP — whose leader, Massoud Barzani, is the de facto president of the Kurdish region — insists that Kurdish-Baghdad relations are at a dead end and the Kurds should part ways with Iraq.
“We favor dialogue to resolve the disputes with Baghdad,” Shwan Dawudi, a PUK member of the Iraqi parliament, told Al-Monitor. “We [and Gorran] will, from now on, work as one bloc. [We] want to move things forward and play a positive role in settling the disputes.” 
The PUK-Gorran agreement was facilitated by the KDP's humiliating treatment of Gorran. In October 2015, after KDP offices came under attack by protesters in Sulaimaniyah, Gorran's stronghold, the KDP prevented Gorran's Yousif Mohammed Sadiq, speaker of the Kurdistan parliament, from entering Erbil, the Kurdish capital, to carry out his duties. That same month, the KDP also dismissed five Gorran ministers in a Cabinet shuffle.
Furious about the changed circumstances, Gorran negotiated a deal with the PUK, a once-powerful partner in the Kurdistan government and KDP ally. The PUK's popularity had suffered considerably after a group of its leaders split from the party, supposedly because of disagreements over how the PUK was run, to form Gorran in 2009. Now the PUK hopes to regain its past influence by allying with Gorran.
Although fissures in Kurdish ranks are nothing new and the Kurdish parties have had disagreements in recent years over various issues — such as dealing with the Syrian crisis, Baghdad and local governance — handling Kurdish relations with Baghdad had until recently largely been the domain of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which the KDP dominates. The KRG and Baghdad have been engaged in a longstanding disagreement over the KRG's handling of energy resources and disputed territories scattered over Kirkuk and Ninevah provinces.
“Now the KRG is semi-paralyzed, and there is no institution to monitor it after the parliament was rendered dysfunctional by the KDP. Its decisions represent the KDP, and its relations with Baghdad are according to the KDP's interests and preferences,” Kawa Mohammed, a prominent Gorran member of the Iraqi parliament, told Al-Monitor. “The KDP needs to act wisely and step forward so that Kurdish parties can agree on how to deal with crucial issues, including relations with Baghdad.” In addition, given that the International Monetary Fund is expected to give a $5.4 billion loan to Iraq, Mohammed said, the KRG should mend ties with Baghdad so it can receive a portion of the funds to help address its severe budget deficit.
In recent weeks in Kurdistan, however, events took a dramatic turn when Gorran rejected a June 23 call by Barzani for a meeting of all Kurdish parties to discuss preparations for a referendum on Kurdish independence from Iraq. Gorran claims no longer to recognize Barzani as KRG president following the controversial extension of his tenure in August 2015. Meanwhile, the KDP refuses to acknowledge the Gorran-PUK alliance, which it sees as a threat as the largest political bloc in Kurdistan. The KDP has repeatedly said it is willing to sit down with Gorran and the PUK separately, but not a joint delegation.
Trying to assert their newfound weight, members of a Gorran-PUK delegation met with senior Iraqi officials June 25 in Baghdad. The KDP used the opportunity to attack the two parties in the media, accusing them of deviating from the Kurdish position toward Baghdad.
Iraq is in no better shape than us. What would encourage us to go back to Baghdad to seek their assistance?” Renas Jano, a KDP member of the Iraqi parliament, said to Al-Monitor. Jano believes internal Kurdish divisions do not justify returning to Baghdad, citing historical examples of previous deals between Kurds and Baghdad that have collapsed.
Acknowledging the current deadlock in Iraqi Kurdistan's politics, Jano believes the KDP should use the Gorran-PUK alliance as an opportunity “to work out a new agreement” on how to handle various challenges. If the new alliance insists on approaching Baghdad outside KRG official policy, it would effectively split Kurdish decision-making and undermine the Kurds' position vis-a-vis the national government.
As a result of a Kurdish civil war, Iraqi Kurdistan was divided into two separate zones from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s. Thus, the chances of a physical separation cannot be dismissed if the PUK-Gorran alliance and the KDP continue to pull away from each other. 
With the Islamic State (IS) on a downward trajectory in Iraq, various actors are vying for influence in the post-IS order. While the Kurds' unity ensured their remarkable gains after the collapse of Saddam's regime, their current fragmentation might adversely affect their standing and gains in post-IS Iraq
“Unless Kurdish leaders set aside their personal egos and rivalries for the sake of a greater Kurdish cause, the post-IS era could be disastrous for the Kurds on the national and international levels, [as] the international community will lose the current level of interest in the Kurdistan Region once IS is gone,” Yerevan Saeed, a Kurdish affairs analyst, told Al-Monitor. “The Sunnis are crushed in Iraq, and you have powerful [predominantly Shiite] Popular Mobilization Units backed by Iran, and the Iraqi government backed by both Iran and the United States, and they will pose serious threats to the current status of the Kurdistan Region.”

Iraq: An Oil Deal Drives Kurdish Parties Further Apart”, Σεπτέμβριος 2016
Discord is spreading through Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), this time because of a recent oil deal between Arbil and Baghdad. Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, a senior figure of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the wife of former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, sent a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sept. 7 threatening to halt the flow of oil out of Kirkuk. Ahmed criticized a revenue-sharing agreement struck in August between al-Abadi's administration and the Kurdish government to jointly export 150,000 barrels of oil per day from the disputed Kirkuk region through Turkey, claiming the deal lacks transparency. She added that the accord, which splits oil revenue evenly between Arbil and Baghdad, was crafted without her party's input.
Ahmed's ability to follow through with her threat is limited, but her allegations signal the growing strain between the PUK and the Kurdish government's ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Since the parties' political alliance crumbled earlier this year, the KDP has taken steps to marginalize the PUK in the KRG's decision-making process. In fact, the Kurdish delegation that brokered the recent oil deal was made up primarily of KDP members. The Kurdish Ministry of Natural Resources, moreover, has accused the PUK of illegally selling Kirkuk's oil to Iran, which has long been an influential partner of the PUK. Ahmed has denied the ministry's claims that people and companies affiliated with her party have sent 30,000 bpd to Iran to the tune of $30 million.
But a dispute with the KDP, though problematic, is not the PUK's most pressing concern at the moment. On Sept. 1, the PUK's secretary-general announced the formation of a decision-making body intended to put an end to the monopoly on authority held by a small cadre in the party. Though the move is widely considered illegitimate within the PUK's ranks, it reflects the deepening internal divides threatening to tear the party apart. Hidden differences among party members began to emerge in 2012, as Talabani's health deteriorated, and the contention has worsened ever since.
The intra- and inter-party bickering will only further destabilize the Kurdish government, which is already struggling to overcome mounting tension between the ruling KDP and the Gorran movement (Iraqi Kurdistan's largest opposition party). Ahmed's latest statement will make it even more difficult for Iraqi Kurdistan's political parties to work together to solve the financial and security problems piling up against them.

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