The Iraqi government has demanded the restitution of the territories occupied by the Kurdish Regional Government in 2014.

In 2014, the attempt to partition Iraq had been coordinated by the United States, Israël, Jordan and Turkey, in agreement with Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The initial plan was for the occupation of al-Anbar by Daesh, and the oil-fields of Kirkuk by the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq [1]. The Iraqi troops had withdrawn without fighting either Daesh or the Kurds, leaving behind, as agreed, the new weapons that had just been delivered by Washington to the jihadists.

At that time, Washington organised the destitution of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who opposed the dismantling of his country. An international Press campaign was organised to claim that he was giving preference to the Shia over the Sunnis, although he had just been comfortably re-elected by both communities.

However, taking into account the slow but inexorable advance of the Syrian army and Russia on the other side of the border, and the agreement reached by Moscow and Washington, it seems that the idea of creating a Kurdistan across parts of Iraq and Syria has been abandoned – or postponed [2].

The oil fields of Kirkuk are no more historically Kurdish than the North of Syria. The Iraqi national budget plans for the transfer of royalties from the oil fields to the national Treasury. But the Kurdish Regional Government hijacked them for its own profit, and exported the oil extracted with the oil stolen by Daesh via its own pipe-line.

The new Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi (photo), became caught up in the situation. He managed to exclude a part of the politicians paid by Washington, and formed a new government on 15 August 2016. Thus he continues to apply the policies of his predecessor.

In Erbil, the headquarters of the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq, there is anxiety about the consequences of peace - President Massoud Barzani, whose mandate came to an end in June 2013, has profited from the crisis to postpone the elections indefinitely, and hold onto power by eliminating his opponents. The restitution of the conquered territories would mean a 40% reduction of the surface he administers. And in particular, the oil-fields of Kirkuk would drastically diminish his colossal revenues, and would prevent him from pursuing the traffic that he has organised with Daesh and Turkey.

Pete Kimberley

[1PKK revelations on ISIL attack and creation of "Kurdistan"”, Voltaire Network, 8 July 2014.

[2The Kurdistan projects”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 5 September 2016.