A map of Kirkuk, showing the close proximity of the K-1 airbase, marked at upper left. Courtesy Google Maps.
The Kurds have pressed for their own nation state for more than a century, however which movement gained momentum after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 in addition to the rise of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, which followed.
Kurdish fighters were among the most effective troops for the Iraqi government during the Iraq War, in addition to they have easily been the most successful force on the ground against ISIS, which swept the regular Iraqi army via the field in 2014.
“inside the summer of 2014, Kurdish forces exploited the collapse of the Iraqi army in northern parts of the country to move into areas claimed both by the region in addition to by federal authorities, especially oil-rich Kirkuk. The central government remains unlikely to accept which presence,” Eurasia Group said.
Kurdistan includes parts of Iraq, Iran, Turkey in addition to Syria. Kurdish independence is usually opposed by every major player inside the region — even including the United States, which has fought closely alongside the Kurds since 2003.
“The Kurds have no friends — Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Russia, in addition to the U.S., among others, have decried their independence push,” Kilduff said.