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Future Options of the Kurds.1 Part I: The Current Situation

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DOI: 10.4236/aa.2018.83009    730 Downloads   1,400 Views Citations


The Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum on September, 25, 2017, initiated by Masoud Barzani, former elected President of the Kurdistan Region Iraq (KRI) (in office: June 13, 2005 to August 19, 2015) was not intended as the basis for a declaration of an independent Kurdish state in Northern Iraq in the foreseeable future. It was, rather, aimed at strengthening his own domestic political position as well as that of other leading politicians of the Barzani family and of the Kurdistan Democratic Party Iraq, currently leading the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). The referendum aggravated the persisting constitutional crisis in Iraq since 2005 over as-yet unresolved crucial questions, above all regarding the status of Kirkuk and other “disputed territories”. The Iraqi Kurds lost to a great extent their influence over Kirkuk and about 40% of other “disputed territories” they were controlling before. On the regional domestic front, it polarized antagonisms among rivalling Kurdish parties, threatened to split the KRI again into two separate administrations and also deepened the ongoing severe economic KRG crisis. In geostrategic terms, it enabled the Islamic Republic of Iran to further extend its influence on Iraq and beyond effectively towards the eastern Mediterranean via pro-Iranian Shia-proxy-militias and, last but not least, it also intensified various crises in the Middle East and Eurasia2.

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Hennerbichler, F. (2018) Future Options of the Kurds.1 Part I: The Current Situation. Advances in Anthropology, 8, 175-234. doi: 10.4236/aa.2018.83009.

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