DECEMBER 9, 2022
Iraq News

Iraq Asserts Control Over Kurdistan Amidst Stability

Iraq Asserts Control Over Kurdistan Amidst Stability

Iraq is capitalizing on a period of relative calm to tighten its grip on the oil-rich autonomous Kurdistan region, a move that has reignited tensions between federal authorities and Kurdish leaders, according to analysts and politicians.

Recent Supreme Court rulings perceived by Kurds as encroachments on their autonomy have exacerbated longstanding disputes between Baghdad and Erbil, the Kurdish capital. Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has sounded the alarm, accusing internal and external actors of plotting against Kurdistan's stability.

The pressure appears directed particularly at Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which has historically clashed with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) for dominance.

Kurds endured persecution under Saddam Hussein's Sunni Arab-dominated regime, but their autonomy was enshrined in the 2005 constitution following the US-led invasion in 2003. However, efforts to mend relations between Baghdad and Kurdistan have faltered.

A senior official in Baghdad, speaking anonymously, pointed to past neglect by federal governments, consumed by wars, ISIS threats, and domestic unrest. He cited concerns over Kurdistan's management of oil deals, financial systems, and unilateral decisions.

The situation underscores the persistent challenge of reconciling central control with Kurdish aspirations in a region marked by complex geopolitical dynamics.

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