Saturday, August 30, 2014

Iraqi Kurds Expand Autonomy as ISIS Reorders the Landscape

By HELENE COOPER and MICHAEL R. GORDON, NYT
AUG. 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has thrown Iraq into crisis, precipitated the ouster of Nuri Kamal al-Maliki as prime minister and brought the American military back to the country it left more than two years ago.

But now Obama administration officials are quietly acknowledging another important consequence: a far more autonomous Kurdistan.

The United States still officially opposes Kurdish independence, a decades-old policy that seeks to avoid further inflaming the region and provoking Turkey, Iraq and Iran, three countries with large and restive Kurdish minorities.

But the ISIS invasion has fundamentally changed the political geography of Iraq, senior American and Kurdish officials said, physically cutting off most of Iraqi Kurdistan from the rest of Shiite-dominated Iraq and encouraging the Iraqi Kurds in their drive for expanded autonomy.

(More here.)

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