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Iraqi Kurds seize Kirkuk as army flees
Hotair ^ | 06/12/2014 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 06/12/2014 7:27:38 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

How bad has the situation in Iraq become? The city of Kirkuk has long been a point of contention between the Kurds and the Iraqi government. Saddam Hussein expelled the Kurds from the city, and ever since the Kurds have laid claim to it — and its oil resources. The new government in Iraq similarly refused to cede the territory to the Kurds, and for the same reason.

Now they’ve run away from Kirkuk, and the Kurds have it again by default as the Iraqi army collapses:

Iraqi Kurdish forces say they have taken full control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk as the army flees before an Islamist offensive nearby.

“The whole of Kirkuk has fallen into the hands of peshmerga,” Kurdish spokesman Jabbar Yawar told Reuters. “No Iraq army remains in Kirkuk now.”

Kurdish fighters are seen as a bulwark against Sunni Muslim insurgents. …

Under Saddam Hussein’s programme of “Arabisation”, Kurds were driven from Kirkuk and replaced with settlers from the south, and the Iraqi government continues to assert control over nearby oilfields, with the backing from the local Turkmen community.

That won’t last long now, as the Iraqis still fiddle while Anbar and Nineveh burn. The parliament has postponed a vote on Nouri al-Maliki’s declaration of emergency, which delays any cohesive response. They can’t delay for much longer before ISIS comes knocking on their doors in Baghdad:

Insurgents inspired by al-Qaeda rapidly pressed toward Baghdad on Wednesday, confronting little resistance from Iraq’s collapsing security forces and expanding an arc of control that now includes a wide swath of the country.

By nightfall, the militants had reached the flash-point city of Samarra, just 70 miles outside Baghdad, after having first seized Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s home town, and other cities while pressing southward from Mosul. …

It appeared that the militants were facing more robust resistance as they moved south, where Iraq’s Shiites have a stronger presence. But several experts said it would be wrong to assume that heavily fortified Baghdad, with its large Shiite population and concentration of elite forces, could easily fend off an ISIS attack.

On Thursday, the militant group vowed to march on to Baghdad . A spokesman for the Islamic State of Iran and the Levant says the group has old scores to settle with the Shiite-led government in Baghdad, the Associated Press reported.

The spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, also threatened that ISIL fighters will take the southern Iraqi Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf, which hold two of the holiest shrines for Shiite Muslims. The statement, which could not be independently verified, came in an audio posting Thursday on militant Web sites commonly used by the group, the AP said.

The Peshmerga will hold off ISIS in the north, at least for a while. The BBC notes that ISIS has bypassed the Kurdish areas for fear of the well-seasoned Peshmerga, who aren’t going to run in the face of an inferior force of Sunni terrorists. The ISIS move toward the Shi’ite cities might end up backfiring, though, as it will encourage Iran to come to Maliki’s rescue and turn all of Iraq into a battlefield. In that scenario, the US will lose all influence and power in Iraq, and perhaps throughout the entire region as the other states start cutting deals with Tehran or lining up against it in the ground war.

This is turning into a rout, and Iraq is getting dismembered as we watch. Unless the West intervenes in a big way soon, it won’t be long before we have to start evacuating from that large, expensive US embassy — and we get another iconic image of the last chopper to leave Saigon, er, Baghdad.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: baghdad; caliphate; iraq; isis; kirkuk; kurds
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1 posted on 06/12/2014 7:27:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Massive proxy civil war coming to Iraq.

Iran will enter on behalf of the shiites. Saudi will have its faction of shiites, while Turkey will enter in the North against the Kurds.


2 posted on 06/12/2014 7:30:44 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: SeekAndFind

If (when?) ISIS takes Baghdad this will be moot.


3 posted on 06/12/2014 7:30:52 AM PDT by Genoa (Starve the beast.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Can you say independent Kurdish State?

And how does ISIS have enough people to hold these towns? Was there no sign of possible Iraqi Army collapse before this? Were they Sunnis or Shiites? Are the Shiites just incapable of performing as an Army?

4 posted on 06/12/2014 7:31:37 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (You can have a free country or government schools. Choose one.)
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To: SeekAndFind
FWIW, the victorious Allies seriously entertained the idea of creating an independent state of Kurdistan from the dismembered Ottoman Empire after World War I.

Trouble then, as now, is the various Kurdish factions couldn't agree on anything. It was like herding cats, sort of like today's GOP.

5 posted on 06/12/2014 7:31:41 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Kurds need to just declare independence. They have always been good allies and they don’t deserve to be shackled to the mess Obama is leaving.


6 posted on 06/12/2014 7:31:49 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: SeekAndFind

Gee, this is gonna be fun. Three more years of obama. The world will not survive.


7 posted on 06/12/2014 7:32:07 AM PDT by cuban leaf
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To: SeekAndFind

I’d rather see the US aid the Peshmerga, to help them hold the north, than waste money by giving it to the incompetent government in Baghdad.


8 posted on 06/12/2014 7:32:10 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well done, Obama. Well done.


9 posted on 06/12/2014 7:32:45 AM PDT by Obadiah (None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Not good for long term security of Jordan and then Israel.
10 posted on 06/12/2014 7:32:53 AM PDT by dblshot (I am John Galt.)
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To: Jabba the Nutt
Are the Shiites just incapable of performing as an Army?

If being in the army means nothing more than a good paycheck then you will not stand and fight.

11 posted on 06/12/2014 7:33:40 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: PGR88
Turkey will enter in the North against the Kurds.

I don't know about that. Turkey certainly has no love for the Kurds but having seen the mess in Syria they may be looking at them as the lesser of two evils.

12 posted on 06/12/2014 7:35:01 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: VanDeKoik

“The Kurds....have always been good allies and they don’t deserve to be shackled to the mess Obama is leaving.”
********************************************************************

He’s not only “leaving” the mess, HE and his minions created it.


13 posted on 06/12/2014 7:36:00 AM PDT by House Atreides
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To: SeekAndFind
Finally got around to reading Chris Kyle's American Sniper... Just so depressing seeing all of that hard work get flushed down the toilet.

His basic thesis stands. Iraqi's will submit to whoever shows the most ruthlessness.
14 posted on 06/12/2014 7:42:34 AM PDT by Daus
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To: SeekAndFind

As much as it pains me to say this, I think Biden may have stumbled onto something when he suggested a three-state (Kurd-Sunni-Shiite) solution for Iraq.

By now, each entity would have its own military and state apparatus. The shiite-dominated hot mess that is Iraq is failing fast.


15 posted on 06/12/2014 7:42:37 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Sand Wars. The wind blows and it all starts over again.


16 posted on 06/12/2014 7:46:41 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (Happier than a Svoboda skinhead with a free new armband.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Isn’t that interesting —

They list Mosul as falling to ISIS but isn’t Mosul a Kurdish city and why would the Kurds let it fall to them.


17 posted on 06/12/2014 7:48:30 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: ScottinVA

I would hope that a three-state solution would work, but wait for the ubiquitous “but”...

...given the religious ideology of these sects of Islam, they would still be at each other’s throats (literally), as they demand the “other sect(s)” convert or die in order to establish their version of a “true” Islamic Caliphate.

As a neophyte amateur, probably I don’t know enough and am wrong.


18 posted on 06/12/2014 7:51:00 AM PDT by jacquej ("It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own.")
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To: SeekAndFind

Iraq should be broken up.
I have been saying that for years.


19 posted on 06/12/2014 7:52:49 AM PDT by RockyTx
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To: SeekAndFind

Good. It was a huge mistake to not break up Iraq into three separate countries.


20 posted on 06/12/2014 8:02:39 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: PGR88

No way the Saudi’s back ANY Shiite group. Saudi’s are Sunni and will back ISIS and the Kurds...


21 posted on 06/12/2014 8:04:45 AM PDT by sandboxshooter (Iraq, Afghanistan, War)
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To: SeekAndFind

Nice going, barky.


22 posted on 06/12/2014 8:07:19 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: Uncle Chip

Nope...majority Sunni. While the Kurds are Sunni also, they make up a small portion of Mosul.


23 posted on 06/12/2014 8:08:01 AM PDT by sandboxshooter (Iraq, Afghanistan, War)
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To: freedomfiter2

Agreed...I said this all along the whole time I was there.


24 posted on 06/12/2014 8:08:51 AM PDT by sandboxshooter (Iraq, Afghanistan, War)
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To: Straight Vermonter
I’d rather see the US aid the Peshmerga

Me too. As VanDeKoik posted, the Kurds have been good allies of the US. Which means that Obama will either ignore them or betray them.

25 posted on 06/12/2014 8:09:08 AM PDT by Leaning Right (Why am I holding this lantern? I am looking for the next Reagan.)
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To: ScottinVA
As much as it pains me to say this, I think Biden may have stumbled onto something when he suggested a three-state (Kurd-Sunni-Shiite) solution for Iraq.

The problem is that the Sunni area has nothing of value in it. They will not stand idly by while they become poor and the other two areas become rich.

26 posted on 06/12/2014 8:10:08 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: sandboxshooter

So am I to understand that part of the success of this group ISIS is that they are backed by or atleast not opposed by the Kurds??


27 posted on 06/12/2014 8:14:05 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: ScottinVA
As much as it pains me to say this, I think Biden may have stumbled onto something when he suggested a three-state (Kurd-Sunni-Shiite) solution for Iraq.

I will give credit where credit is due. Biden was right about two major things:

1. He was against putting ground troops in Afghanistan. His solution to 9/11 was to flatten any Taliban/Al Qaeda asset from the air and from the sea. And if they reappeared, hit 'em again.

2. As you noted ScottinVA, Biden suggested dividing Iraq into three separate homogeneous countries.

I wonder how things would have turned out had Bush II listened to Biden here. It certainly couldn't be any worse than it is now. And a lot of lives and money would have been saved.

28 posted on 06/12/2014 8:17:50 AM PDT by Leaning Right (Why am I holding this lantern? I am looking for the next Reagan.)
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To: SeekAndFind

ISIS will come up against the Al Sadr militia (and Iranian special forces) in Baghdad, and resolve by the mostly Shiite Iraqi army will increase there.


29 posted on 06/12/2014 8:18:29 AM PDT by Thunder90 (All posts soley represent my own opinion.)
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To: sandboxshooter

ISIS has gotten too big. It is now a threat to the Saudi kingdom.


30 posted on 06/12/2014 8:19:39 AM PDT by Thunder90 (All posts soley represent my own opinion.)
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To: Uncle Chip

Nope. The Kurds will only intervene and help the central government if they’re granted more autonomy. They will however, totally destroy ISIS by their overwhelming numbers if threatened. Those guys are no joke.


31 posted on 06/12/2014 8:19:47 AM PDT by sandboxshooter (Iraq, Afghanistan, War)
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To: Straight Vermonter

Except that would lead the US to supporting someone who will then attack a NATO ally.


32 posted on 06/12/2014 8:19:48 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: PGR88

I am going to need a scorecard soon.

We are seeing a monumental shift in the balance of power in the Middle East. This is only the beginning.

Obozo is very pleased.Don’t think for a moment this is not just what he wanted.


33 posted on 06/12/2014 8:21:53 AM PDT by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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To: Uncle Chip

Additionally, the Kurds would never cut and run from their posts like the Iraqi Army is doing. They told us 1000 of them would die before one of us did...and that held true.


34 posted on 06/12/2014 8:22:06 AM PDT by sandboxshooter (Iraq, Afghanistan, War)
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To: Jabba the Nutt
And how does ISIS have enough people to hold these towns? Was there no sign of possible Iraqi Army collapse before this? Were they Sunnis or Shiites? Are the Shiites just incapable of performing as an Army?

Just because you've paid people to put on a uniform, doesn't make them an army.

If they aren't willing to fight, they are not an army. The ISIS men are willing to fight, the Iraqi army is not. We will see if the Iraqi Shiites and Kurds can put together a real army before being overrun.

35 posted on 06/12/2014 8:22:18 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: PGR88

“while Turkey will enter in the North against the Kurds.”

I doubt that will happen. Turkey is happy to have the Kurds out of their territory. They had a nightmare on their hands for awhile with the Kurdish refugee camps in Turkey. I don’t think they will mess with the status quo.


36 posted on 06/12/2014 8:22:41 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: redgolum

Huge difference between the Kurds, and the PKK. The Turks actually have pretty good relations with the Kurds. They’re fighting the PKK who are literally Maoists.


37 posted on 06/12/2014 8:23:45 AM PDT by sandboxshooter (Iraq, Afghanistan, War)
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To: SeekAndFind

Absent a strong charismatic leader the synthetic nation of Iraq will and is devolving into three natural constituencies.

These are the Kurdish north, the Sunni in between and the Shia south.

Released from the false collective imposed by the British after WW I they are getting their longed for freedom and independence.

The pundits are arguing the Bush efforts were for nothing. Actually, the Bush efforts were to tame and then depose Saddam Hussein. W conquored Baghdad and deposed Saddam.

The nation building effort is evolving into three rather than one state. Time will tell if the three entities can exist on their own as economically viable members of the world society. Free from the tribal and religious tensions they very well may.

I believe the founding of an Islamic state that weakens or deposes Assad will be good. It may soak up all the wackos into one place where they can attempt to found a new wacko islamic state

The problem seems to be that Core AQ has lost control.


38 posted on 06/12/2014 8:23:53 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: Jabba the Nutt

“Are the Shiites just incapable of performing as an Army?”

I think they’re mostly just unwilling to die defending Sunnis from other Sunnis. War will start in earnest when they reach Shia territory.


39 posted on 06/12/2014 8:24:47 AM PDT by Blackyce (French President Jacques Chirac: "As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure.")
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To: SeekAndFind

“That won’t last long now, as the Iraqis still fiddle while Anbar and Nineveh burn. The parliament has postponed a vote on Nouri al-Maliki’s declaration of emergency, which delays any cohesive response.”


Iraq is being carved up like a turkey and they don’t seem to care anymore than the WH does.


40 posted on 06/12/2014 8:25:36 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: sandboxshooter

So then what are the odds very shortly here of this ISIS army getting caught between the Kurds from the north and the Shiites from the southeast.


41 posted on 06/12/2014 8:26:13 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: ScottinVA
I think Biden may have stumbled onto something when he suggested a three-state (Kurd-Sunni-Shiite) solution for Iraq.

If this was actually a defined strategy by the White House I would give them credit. At least it's a strategy.

Same thing for Ukraine, it was always going to be very difficult for the entire nation of Ukraine to break free of Russian influence with so many voting Russians in the Crimea. I'm not a big One World Order guy, but I think somewhere it was negotiated and decided beforehand to let Crimea go to break greater Ukraine free.
42 posted on 06/12/2014 8:28:01 AM PDT by Daus
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To: Uncle Chip

I think they have to seriously consider this possibility and not get stretched too thin, if they’re not already. Plus they’re threatening the Jordanians. If they’re not careful, they’ll have a 3 pronged offensive against them. Kurds from North, Jordanians from the West and Shiite/Iranians from the South/East.


43 posted on 06/12/2014 8:28:13 AM PDT by sandboxshooter (Iraq, Afghanistan, War)
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To: Blackyce

I see no certainty that a prolonged effort to reassert total Suni control will take place. There may be some effort but when they secure the natural Suni tribal areas, the effort will diminish
Their main task is going to be learning how to governwhat they have.


44 posted on 06/12/2014 8:28:19 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: sandboxshooter

Thanks for your excellent posts and personal insight to this mess.

Please keep posting on it.

Maybe if you have time, you could set up a ping list.

Most of us unless we have been over there, haven’t the slightest idea of what has happened, is happening and may happen.

Thanks again and for your service.

Dave


45 posted on 06/12/2014 8:34:27 AM PDT by Grampa Dave ( Herr Obozo will not divert resources from his war on Americans to help our Veterans!)
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To: sandboxshooter

Well — if there is a 3 for 1 split who gets Bagdad??

— more specifically who gets the coveted Green Zone???


46 posted on 06/12/2014 8:39:23 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: PGR88

Iran is already there. I read a tweet about the Iranian special forces coming over the border.

Sadly, they’re going to be Iraq’s ally, because Obama has abandoned it. He always swoons over the most radical Muslims, and in this case, it’s ISIL.


47 posted on 06/12/2014 8:41:55 AM PDT by livius
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To: SeekAndFind
Waiting for Obama's Limbaugh Theorem response, "Say what, I didn't know about this, I heard it on TV, I'm as upset as you are, we're gonna' get to the bottom of it and make people pay. I'm shocked, don'tcha know." And again, he walks. .


48 posted on 06/12/2014 8:42:30 AM PDT by Art in Idaho (Conservatism is the only Hope for Western Civilization.)
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To: Grampa Dave

Thank you sir. I mostly lurk, and comment on stuff I know a little about. Did a LOT of time in Turkey and Iraq.


49 posted on 06/12/2014 8:43:09 AM PDT by sandboxshooter (Iraq, Afghanistan, War)
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To: VanDeKoik

I wonder if the Kurds can kick the Shiite out of ISIS? That would be great if so.. This collapse is on Obamadullah’s back. He turned his back on the ‘Status of Forces’ agreement and this is the outcome of that.


50 posted on 06/12/2014 8:44:37 AM PDT by CivilWarBrewing
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