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  1. This is how PM Abadi drains the swamp... Home World November 20 2017 11:58:00 Iraq top court declares KRG referendum unconstitutional BAGHDAD - Agence France-Presse Iraq’s supreme court on Nov. 20 declared that September’s referendum on independence in the autonomous Kurdish areas in the north of the country was unconstitutional. A statement said the court "rendered a decision declaring unconstitutional the referendum held on September 25, 2017 in Iraqi Kurdistan... and cancelling all the consequences and results that resulted". The legal move on Nov. 20 was the latest stage in a crisis sparked by the referendum, which resulted in a resounding "yes" vote for independence in the Kurdish area. Last month, the UN Security Council urged the Iraqi government and regional leaders in Kurdistan to set a timetable for talks to end the crisis. The world body’s appeal came after Baghdad dismissed an offer from Iraqi Kurdish leaders to freeze the outcome of the referendum and hold talks. Rejecting the freeze offer, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi instead demanded the annulment of the independence vote. Last week, as the deadline announced by the Supreme Court for its decision on the constitutionality of the referendum approached, the Kurdistan government said it "respected" the decisions taken by Iraq’s highest court. It also said it respected a previous decision insisting on Iraqi unity, which could be a basis for dialogue. Parliament in Baghdad is currently reviewing the federal budget for the coming year, including the allocation for the autonomous Kurdish region. September’s referendum was initiated by then Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, for whom the repercussions were severe. Barzani at the beginning of November announced he was stepping aside, having lost almost all of the territory disputed between Kurdish capital Irbil and Baghdad. The Kurds also lost all of the oil resources in Kirkuk province that could have ensured the viability of a hypothetical Kurdish state. Massoud Barzani, Barzani, Iraq, Baghdad, kurdish region, KRG, krg referendum, referendum, Haider al-Abadi, Erbil
  2. PM Abadi has a way of illuminating a problem exposing it then eliminating it...may that trend continue.
  3. $1 Billion Stolen Per Day Through Currency Auction in Iraq: Investigators Basnews English 20/11/2017 - 17:06 Iraq ERBIL — The international team of investigators have revealed that around USD 1 billion is stolen by Iraqi officials through currency auctions of the Central Bank of Iraq. A source close to Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told Al Ghad Press on Monday that the international team investigating corruption cases in Iraq has informed Abadi about the involvement of dozens of Iraqi officials in squandering a large amount of Iraq’s money. The officials waste public money and steal it through the dollar auctions of the Central Bank of Iraq, the source said. The investigations revealed that Iraq is wasting large amounts of money, sometimes amounting to one billion dollars per day, because of the difference in the Iraqi dinar exchange rate between the auction and the black market. The source added that the team has completed the investigation of the auction case, and informed Abadi about the corruption. The source noted that Abadi has ordered the Central Bank to adopt international classifications to give banks the dollar and engage them in auctions, in exchange for maintaining the dollar exchange rate, which remained stable at 1,180 dinars to the dollar.
  4. Adam Montana Weekly 16 November 2017

    Interest officially peaked
  5. Great Interview ...Thanks Thugs! His English is great ... better than many folks living here...and I didn't even have to push #1
  6. Abadi Says Referendum is Over, Calls for Dialogue ‘Under the Constitution’ ASHARQ AL-AWSAT36 mins ago 12 Iraqi forces advance toward the center of Kirkuk during an operation on Oct. 16. AFP Riyadh, Baghdad, Irbil- The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz briefed the Cabinet Tuesday on a telephone conversation he held with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi during which the King stressed Riyadh’s support for Iraq’s unity, security, stability, and the adherence of all parties to the country’s constitution for the interest of Iraq and its people. The King chaired the Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, as Kurdish Peshmerga forces continued to gradually withdraw from the disputed areas between Baghdad and Irbil, Abadi announced that the Kurdistan region’s referendum on independence is over. “The referendum is finished and has become a thing of the past,” Abadi said in a press conference on Tuesday. He called for a dialogue with the Kurdish leadership “under the Constitution.” For his part, Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani said that after the withdrawal, the new borders between the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces would be as they were before the Mosul operation launched on Oct. 17, 2016. However, Barzani said: “The loud voices you raised for the independence of Kurdistan that you sent to all nations and world countries will not be wasted now or ever.” Meanwhile, Iraqi President Fouad Massoum held the Kurdistan Region president, without naming him, responsible for what happened in Kirkuk. In a statement, Massoum said that he had exerted immense efforts to reach a solution between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Region government, but said the “latter insisted to hold the referendum.” The president also called on all parties to engage in urgent dialogue to prevent a worsening of the crisis in Iraq and he reminded everyone that they should resort to the constitution to solve the crisis in Kirkuk. On Tuesday, the Peshmerga forces withdrew from the disputed area of Khanaqin, near the border with Iran. Meanwhile, Reuters quoted oil officials in Baghdad as saying that all the fields near Kirkuk were working normally on Tuesday after coming under the central government’s control. Reuters said Iraq’s dollar-denominated bonds jumped nearly one cent on Tuesday, more than making up for Monday’s losses.
  7. Yes thank you Blueskyline...I must agree that after yesterdays news ...this could be a "suddenly" in our favor Synopsis. The best to you both!
  8. Oil jumps as fighting in Iraq’s oil-rich Kirkuk shuts output JULIA SIMON NEW YORK — Reuters Published Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 4:56AM EDT Last updated Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 1:54PM EDT Oil prices jumped 1 percent on Monday as Iraqi forces entered the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, taking territory from Kurdish fighters and briefly cutting some crude output from OPEC’s second-largest producer. “We’re seeing increased geopolitical tension in the Middle East providing support in the market today, namely in Iraqi Kurdistan, and some uncertainty around Iran,” said Anthony Headrick, energy market analyst at CHS Hedging LLC in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Iraq’s Kurdistan briefly shut down some 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) of production from major fields Bai Hassan and Avana due to security concerns. Iraq launched the operation on Sunday as the crisis between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) escalated. The KRG voted for independence in a Sept. 25 referendum. Brent crude futures were up 62 cents or 1 per cent at $57.79 per barrel at 11:02 a.m. ET. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 36 cents or 0.7 per cent at $51.81 per barrel. The government said its troops had taken control of Iraq’s North Oil Co, and the fields quickly resumed production. The KRG government said oil continued to flow through the export pipeline, and it would take no steps to stop it. Still, the action unsettled the market. Some 600,000 bpd of oil is produced in the region, and Turkey has threatened to shut a KRG-operated pipeline that goes to the Turkish port of Ceyhan at Baghdad’s request. Renewed worries over U.S. sanctions against Iran also drew attention. On Friday U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday refused to certify that Tehran was complying with the accord even though international inspectors say it is. Under U.S. law, the president must certify every 90 days that Iran is complying with the deal. Congress now has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran. During the previous round of sanctions, roughly 1 million bpd of Iranian oil was cut off. Analysts said renewed sanctions were unlikely to curtail that level of exports, yet they warned it could still be disruptive. Cuts to U.S. drilling rigs, and an explosion overnight at an oil rig in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain, also boosted prices. Oil consumption has been strong, especially in China, where the central bank governor said the economy is expected to grow 7 percent in the second half, defying widespread expectations for a slowdown. Sources said China was offering to buy up to 5 per cent of Saudi Aramco directly, a move that could give Saudi Arabia more flexibility as it plans to float the world’s biggest oil producer on the stock market.
  9. LIVE SEARCH What We Know So Far About Baghdad's Operation in Kirkuk © REUTERS/ Stringer MIDDLE EAST 20:51 16.10.2017(updated 21:07 16.10.2017)Get short URL 0 132 0 0 Baghdad has launched a military operation in the northern province of Kirkuk, disputed by both the central government and Iraq Kurdistan, following the province's participation in the September 25 referendum on the autonomous region's independence. MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Iraqi armed forces managed to capture strategic positionsin the Kirkuk region, which held the vote on the Iraqi Kurdistan's independence too, despite not being a part of the region. Baghdad has refused to recognize the results of the referendum, which was held in the autonomy and other territories that are claimed by Erbil and de facto controlled by Kurdistan's military forces, Peshmerga, although not within the autonomy's official borders. Shortly after the referendum, the Iraqi parliament approved the government's decision to deploy troops to the oil-rich Kirkuk province. Iraqi Kurdistan's vice president said Friday that Erbil would send 6,000 Peshmerga troops to Kirkuk to counter Baghdad's plan to retake control of the area. Local media reported earlier on Monday that 3,000 Kurdish Peshmerga had been additionally deployed to Kirkuk. Baghdad's Gains Iraqi federal police officers entered the Kirkuk administration building earlier on Monday, meeting no resistance, a source from the local government told Sputnik. The central government forces have also occupied several other important facilities in the city. Most regional officials, including governor Najmiddin Karim, had left for Kurdistan. © AFP 2017/ MARWAN IBRAHIM Iraqi Police Gain Control of Kirkuk Administration Bldg Without Fight - Source The Iraqi government said that its forces had been instructed to secure bases and federal facilities in the province of Kirkuk. The government also said that Prime Minister Haider Abadi had ordered the Iraqi Security Forces to cooperate with Peshmerga and protect civilians. Hemin Hawrami, senior assistant to Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, said that Peshmerga had clashed with the Iraqi forces attempting to enter the disputed region and pushed them back. Hawrami went on to add that Barzani had also instructed Peshmerga not to initiate altercations and only act when the other side begins the assault. © REUTERS/ STRINGER Baghdad Goal in Kirkuk and Iraqi Kurdistan Is Protection of Locals – PM The Iraqi army command issued a statement saying that the Iraqi troops had secured control over the K-1 military base, Baba Gurgur and Bai Hassan oil fields, as well as Kirkuk's irrigation system. The leadership of the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga paramilitary forces said later in the day that the attack on Kirkuk could be considered a "declaration of war" on the Kurds. Kurdish Lawmakers's Reaction Nada Khal Khamza, a lawmaker in the Iraqi parliament, a member of the Kurdish coalition, told Sputnik that Baghdad was acting "undemocratically." "All actions to boost military presence will only lead to the escalation [of the conflict], but not to the solution of the problem… It seems as if the Iraqi government does not want to hold a dialogue with Kurds," the lawmaker said. According to a lawmaker from Erbil, Tariq Sadiq Rashid, the situation is likely to change at any moment, but "the military power will now play the most important role." Khamza said, however, that Iraqi Kurdistan was still advocating for all parties to sit down at the negotiating table. International Reaction Pentagon has urged both Erbil and Baghdad to avoid further escalation of the conflict, stressing that the United States supports "a unified Iraq." "We strongly urge all sides to avoid additional escalatory actions. We oppose violence from any party, and urge against destabilizing actions that distract from the fight against ISIS [Islamic State, Daesh, a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia] and further undermine Iraq's stability," Laura Seal, a spokeswoman for the Department of Defense, said on Monday in a statement. According to media reports, representatives of the US-led coalition tasked with fighting Daesh, have met with representatives of Iraqi Kurdish militia to discuss the ongoing conflict. © SPUTNIK/ ANTON DENISOV Turkey Closes Country's Airspace for Iraqi Kurdistan Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Moscow supported a peaceful resolution of the conflict by political and diplomatic means. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Ankara was ready to help Baghdad drive Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey, out of Iraq. On Sunday, the security council of the Iraqi government claimed that Iraqi Kurdistan had summoned non-state armed forces, including the PKK, to the disputed Kirkuk province, and suggested that the move might be seen as the declaration of war on Iraq. Erbil promptly refuted the allegations. Moreover, Ankara has decided to close Turkey's airspace for Iraqi Kurdistan amid the ongoing fighting in Kirkuk.
  10. Peshmerga Inflicts Shi’ite Militias with Heavy Damage in Southern Kirkuk Hashd al-Shaabi had intended to advance towards Kirkuk Basnews English 16/10/2017 - 04:02 Kurdistan ERBIL — Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces have reportedly foiled an attack by Baghdad-backed Shi’ite militias of Hashd al-Shaabi near Taza district in southern Kirkuk. According to Kurdistan 24, the Shi’ite militias had initiated a fire exchange in the area, but soon escaped after coming under heavy fire from Peshmerga defence lines. Several military vehicles belonging to the Hashd al-Shaabi are said to be destroyed by the Kurdish forces. More... Basnews English US Senator Warns Against Misuse of US Weapons by Iraqi Forces Baghdad-backed Shi’ite Militias Praise PUK Faction for Withdrawal KRG: No Suspension of Oil Exports Coalition: We Are Monitoring the Military Movements Around Kirkuk Legitimate Rights of Kurds Should Be Respected: Kremlin Spokesperson Peshmerga Ordered to Fight to the Last Man in Defence of Kirkuk Iraqi Forces, Backed by IRGC, Attacked Kirkuk: Peshmerga Command PUK Influential Faction Orders Withdrawal of Peshmerga from Tuz Khurmatu US Calls on All Parties to Immediately Cease Military Action in Kirkuk KRG Refutes Baghdad’s Accusation on PKK’s Engagement in Fight in Kirkuk
  11. Turkey closes airspace for flights to northern Iraq Decision taken on advice of Turkey’s National Security Council, says government spokesman home > Turkey, middle east 16.10.2017 Sorwar Alam Ankara related news 2 Turkish soldiers martyred in northern Iraq 5 PKK terrorists killed in SE Turkey and N Iraq Macron offers mediation between Baghdad, northern Iraq Turkish jets kill 5 terrorists in eastern Turkey Erdogan points out Mossad's role in northern Iraq poll By Sorwar Alam, Sena Guler and Emin Avundukluoglu ANKARA Turkey on Monday closed its airspace for the flights from and to northern Iraq, the Turkish deputy prime minister and government spokesman said Monday. Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara, Bekir Bozdag said the decision was taken by the Cabinet on advice of the country’s National Security Council. “From now on, no airplane will be able to fly to the airports in Northern Iraqi Regional Government, and no airplane from there will be able to use the Turkish airspace,” he said. Last month, the KRG held an illegitimate referendum across northern Iraq that resulted in a vote for independence from Baghdad. The vote was opposed by Baghdad as well as Turkey and the U.S. Bozdag also said that the government began working on another advice of the council, seeking control of Iraqi government on Ibrahim Khalil border crossing, also known as Habur, between Turkey and the Kurdish region in northern Iraq. The Cabinet also advised Turkish Parliament to extend state of emergency for another three months, according to Bozdag. Following the Cabinet’s meeting, the government submitted to the Turkish parliament a motion, seeking extension of emergency rule. According to the motion, the new extension will come into force from Oct. 19 at 1.00 a.m. Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time in July last year following a deadly coup attempt staged by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured. Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary. Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
  12. HOME World MENA Iraqi forces seize Kirkuk from Kurdish fighters State television said that Iraqi prime minister Haider Al Abadi gave orders to armed forces to “take over” security in Kirkuk Mina Aldroubi October 16, 2017 Updated: October 16, 2017 09:10 PM 0 shares This still image from a video provided by RUDAW TV shows what the Irbil-based Kurdish broadcaster says are Peshmerga fighters and volunteers arriving on military trucks in Kirkuk, Iraq. The Associated Press Iraqi forces captured the city of Kirkuk on Monday from Kurdish fighters in response to Kurdistan's vote on independence. A convoy of armoured vehicles from Iraq's counter-terrorism forces seized the provincial government headquarters in the centre of Kirkuk, less than a day after the operation began. Kirkuk's governor Najm Eddine Karim, who refused to step down after being sacked in response to the province taking part in the vote last month, was not there at the time. It comes three weeks after the Iraqi Kurdistan region held a controversial independence vote that included the city of Kirkuk, although it lies outside the Kurdistan region. Iraq’s prime minister Haider Al Abadi, said the vote, which overwhelmingly backed secession, was "unconstitutional". On Monday, Mr Al Abadi said the operation in Kirkuk was necessary to "protect the unity of the country, which was in danger of partition" because of the referendum. Baghdad described the advance as largely unopposed, and urged the Kurdish security forces known as Peshmerga to cooperate in keeping the peace. In response, the Kurdish Peshmerga troops said Baghdad would be made to pay "a heavy price" for triggering "war on the Kurdistan people" Peshmerga forces took the control of Kirkuk and surrounding oil fields in 2014 to prevent ISIL from seizing the city. Kirkuk is a mix of ethnicities, including Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds and is claimed by both the Kurdistan Regional Government and the central government in Baghdad. The offensive took place a day after the powerful Iranian general, Qassem Suleimani, met with Kurdish officials in Kurdistan. The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ overseas operations provides training and weaponry to Iraq’s Shiite militias, which took part in the operation to oust Kurdish forces from Kirkuk. The development follows Mr Al Abadi's appointment of an Arab politician named Rakan Saeed to replace Mr Karim as the governor of Kirkuk. The appointment follows Mr Karim’s strong endorsement for the Kurdish independence referendum to be held within Kirkuk. The development comes as Washington called for calm on both sides, seeking to avert an all-out conflict between Baghdad and the Kurds that would open a whole new front in Iraq's 14-year-old civil war and potentially draw in regional powers such as Turkey and Iran. Earlier on Monday, Iraqi forces took control of a military airport from Kurdish forces near the south of the city of Kirkuk, where there was a “security vacuum”, according to a local official. Arshad Al Salhi, a member of the Iraqi parliament and head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front, told The National that the Peshmerga “have withdrawn from the centre of Kirkuk leaving a security vacuum which has enabled armed fighters from the PKK to enter". The PKK, also known as the Kurdish Workers' Party, is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and the US. “The outskirts of Kirkuk are under the control of the Iraqi forces," Mr Al Salhi said. By the evening they had moved into the centre of the city. A spokesman for Iraq's state-sanctioned militias said they had "achieved all our goals" in retaking areas from Kurdish forces in and around Kirkuk. Ahmed Al Assadi said federal forces came under fire from "some rebels" after launching the operation early on Monday and returned fire. The Iraqi forces took several positions south of Kirkuk from Kurdish forces, including the North Gas Company station, a nearby processing plant and the industrial district south of the city. Their mission was to take back military bases and oil fields, which Kurdish Peshmerga fighters took in 2014 during fighting with ISIL. Meanwhile, Turkey said it was ready to help the Iraqi government oust Kurdish fighters from Kirkuk. Ankara, which fears independence moves by the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government could spark similar moves by its own Kurdish minority, hailed the Iraqi forces' operation to clean up Kirkuk from the PKK. "We are ready for any form of cooperation with the Iraqi government in order to end the PKK presence in Iraqi territory," the Turkish foreign ministry said. _____________ Read more: Kurds, Iraqi forces in standoff in oil-rich Kirkuk Iranian general Qassem Soleimani visits Iraqi Kurdistan amid standoff with Baghdad _____________ The Iraqi government said that "as security forces advanced in Kirkuk, regional party militias from outside of Kirkuk attempted to disrupt the coordinated movements of the Iraqi security forces.” “In some instances, they fired upon them in an attempt to provoke the armed forces” the statement said. Officials in Erbil should be held responsible for any violence that has occurred, the Baghdad government said. The US-led coalition against ISIL, which supports both Iraqi government and Peshmerga forces, said it had so far only seen "co-ordinated movements" by military vehicles around Kirkuk and "not attacks". A limited exchange of fire before dawn was the result of a "misunderstanding and not deliberate as two elements attempted to link up under limited visibility conditions", the US statement said. "We continue to advocate dialogue between Iraqi and Kurdish authorities. All parties must remain focused on the defeat of our common enemy, ISIL, in Iraq," said Major Gen Robert White, Commanding General of the combined joint forces. Further south, two people were reportedly killed in artillery exchanges at Tuz Khurmatu, 75 kilometres from Kirkuk, which has been shaken every night since Friday by fighting between the Peshmerga and Hashed Al Shaabi — Shiite paramilitary forces, which are dominated by Iran-backed militias. The advance on Kirkuk came days after a standoff between Kurdish forces and the Iraqi army and the expiry of a deadline for Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to withdraw from the areas they have controlled since 2014.
  13. Why the battle over the Iraqi city of Kirkuk matters By PHILIP ISSA, ASSOCIATED PRESS BAGHDAD — Oct 16, 2017, 1:27 PM ET The Associated Press Map locates Kirkuk, Iraq and nearby oil fields.; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm; Email Iraqi forces entered the disputed northern city of Kirkuk on Monday, forcing Kurdish fighters to withdraw just three weeks after holding a controversial referendum on support for independence from the central government. Here's what you need to know: WHY? Kirkuk has found itself at the heart of a long-running dispute between Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region and its central government that reached fever pitch after Kurdish authorities staged a non-binding independence vote in late September. The city sits on the edge of an expansive oil field that can be tapped for about a half million barrels per day. And while Iraq's oil revenues are supposed to be shared, disputes among the provinces have often held up transfers, leading parties to find leverage in holding the fields. When Iraq's armed forces crumbled in the face of an advance by Islamic State group in 2014, Kurdish forces moved into Kirkuk and secured the city and its surrounding oil wells. The city falls 32 kilometers (20 miles) outside the Kurds' autonomous region in northeast Iraq. Baghdad insisted the city and its province be returned, but matters came to a head when the Kurdish authorities expanded their referendum to include Kirkuk. To Baghdad, it looked like a provocation that underscored what it sees as unchecked Kurdish expansionism. The city of more than one million is home to a mix of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, as well as Christians and Sunni and Shiite Muslims. HOW DID IT HAPPEN? Swiftly. Iraq's army, its anti-terrorism forces and the federal police began their operations before dawn Monday. By late afternoon, they were in control of several oil and gas facilities, the airport, and a nearby military base. Kurdish officials accused the Iraqi army of carrying out a "major, multi-prong attack," and reported heavy clashes on the city's outskirts, but a spokesman for Iraq's state-backed militias said they encountered little resistance. The vastly outmatched Kurdish fighters withdrew from the city en masse, and journalists were left to wander into abandoned barracks and administrative buildings. Local police forces remained in the city at the invitation of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi who called on civil servants to stay on and serve their constituents. He has said he wants to share administration of the city with the Kurdish authorities and called on Kurdish forces, known as the peshmerga, to serve under the umbrella of Iraq's unified military command. "We have only acted to fulfill our constitutional duty and extend the federal authority and impose security and protect the national wealth in this city," said Abadi. Abadi, in a bid to allay concerns of sectarian strife, promised the country's predominantly Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces would not enter Kirkuk, but Associated Press reporters saw Turkmen militiamen taking up posts in the western part of the city. The Iranian-sponsored militias are viewed with deep suspicion by Iraq's Kurds, who see them as a policy implement of Tehran that threatens demographic change. Thousands of revelers waving the Iraqi Turkmen and Iraqi national flags were celebrating the transfer of power in downtown Kirkuk by nightfall, but thousands more were fleeing the city with their belongings to the neighboring Kurdish region, fearful of national or militia rule. FRICTION BETWEEN U.S. ALLIES? The dispute over Kirkuk has pit two of the U.S.'s closest allies in the war against the Islamic State group against each other. The U.S. has armed, trained and provided vital air support to both sides in their shared struggle and called the frictions a distraction against the most important fight. But for parts of Monday, Iraqi and Kurdish forces turned their weapons against each other. The Kurdistan Region Security Council said early Monday that the peshmerga destroyed at least five U.S.-supplied Humvees being used by Iraq's state-sanctioned militias. It's the timing of the dispute that underscores how fragile Iraq is now. It was only three months ago that the peshmerga, federal forces, and the PMF were maneuvering alongside each other to recapture Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, from IS, and two weeks ago that they expelled them from Hawija, their last bastion in northern Iraq. With IS now defeated there, the danger for Iraq will now likely come from its own divisions. WHAT'S NEXT? It will take time for Iraq and its Kurdish region to restore amicable relations after the strains of the past three weeks. Baghdad wants the Kurds to disavow the overwhelmingly in-favor referendum result. This has been refused by Irbil, the Kurdish capital. Talks between the two sides are now likely to focus on easing sanctions against the Kurdish region, including those on the banking sector and against international flights. There is considerable distrust between Baghdad and Irbil dating back to Saddam Hussein's wars against the Kurdish region and forced Arabization of some of its cities. But the two sides also rely on each other, especially in fragile economic times. The Kurdish region is responsible for up to a quarter of Iraq's oil production, while Baghdad controls the currency and several pipelines in and out of north Iraq. The Kurdish region is presently entitled to 17% of Iraq's federal budget, of which the Kurds are expected to try to negotiate a bigger share, in addition to greater autonomy. Inside the Kurdish region, elections are slated to be held next month and the two major parties will be looking to leverage the crisis to win votes. It is no accident, analysts say, that President Masoud Barzani, whose term expired in 2015, slated the referendum two months before elections. He hopes to cast himself as a visionary for the Kurds, they say, even if he can't deliver on the dream of independence.

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