The independence referendum in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq has resulted in a tumultuous aftermath that recalls the old adage that the Kurds have no friends but the mountains. Reaction by all neighbors, including the central Iraqi government in Baghdad, has been harsh. Iraqi, Iranian, and Turkish-backed forces have occupied Kurdish areas in the month following the referendum. KRG president Masoud Barzani is stepping down.
The central government of Baghdad all along was threatening the Kurdistan regional government, as did Turkey, Syria, and in particularly Iran. These neighboring countries have large and significant Kurdish populations and fear that if the Kurdistan region of Iraq becomes independent, their Kurdish population would demand the same.
Plainly, Iran fears Kurdish unity. In 2014, for example, ISIS attacked Iraqi Kurdistan and Kurds all around the Middle East fought side by side to defend Kurdish homelands including Iranian Kurdish peshmerga forces of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) and Komala (two main Kurdish political opposition in Iran). Read more here...
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