Skip to comments.Iraqi Kurds seize Kirkuk as army flees
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 Iraqs 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 Husseins 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 Iraqs 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.
It wasn't so much a wish to support them as it was a statement that giving aid to the government in Baghdad is useless.
Not sure about that one...Lest we forget, supposedly major oil was found in Anbar Province, so the Sunni’s could have their own oil fields, as the Kurds and Shiites in the south do now. Erbil was booming last time I was in Kurdistan so it wouldn’t be out of the question for each to have a very modern capital in their respective areas. Baghdad is the big question.
Send in General SISI who is not a sissy, and his Egyptian Legions- they know how to fight Islamic terrorists with no BS.
I don't believe that it does. It certainly does have enough people to destabilize the sitting government, though, putting Iraq up for grabs at the hands of a number of parties who have been just waiting for the opportunity. If Iran isn't already actively involved it soon will be.
RE: Send in General SISI who is not a sissy, and his Egyptian Legions- they know how to fight Islamic terrorists with no BS.
There used to be a time when the USA could do it without losing much sleep .... Remember Tokyo? Dresden?
We don’t have the heart to do it anymore.
The Russians on the other hand FLATTENED Chechnya without breaking a sweat.
People, like you, are why I contribute monthly to Free Republic and come here daily for the reality of the news we get bombarded with each day with the left wing twists.
Fortunately, on about every subject, we have a few people like you, who know the realities of the news and report on it.
Years ago, my wife used to kid me about using FR to find out was happening. Then a little less than a decade ago, when something happened world wide or impacting our nation. She would go to Free Republic and see what they are saying about what’s happening,
Communist Kurds in the north, always fighting Turkish forces, and more normal Kurds in the south who are always fighting Arabs and Arab terrorists. There’s probably more than that, but those were the two groups I learned about over there.
Also, I would LOVE for these ISIS clowns to go up against the Peshmerga. That would bring their campaign to a very sudden and violent end.
Or for the long-term security of the Saudis and the Emirates.
Wow, I didn't know that. That really changes the calculus over there. At least it will when they actually get the wells on line.
Biden tends to favor Iran and the Shia, and both your points 1,2 would weaken Iraq and the Sunnis.
They are not going to stop until they gain the riches in the North and South (oil) or the riches in Baghdad. The land they control now is mostly impoverished.
I agree. I guess they will.
To that he would say, “Thank you.”
Gee, this is gonna be fun. Three more years of obama. The world will not survive.
For those who believe in the anti-Christ, it’s easy to see. The world will be in such a mess that the anti-Christ will be welcomed by many to “save the world”.
Obama is putting the mess in place for the anti-Christ to show up.
I never really understood what the Neocons had against it. It could have been done a long time ago with little bloodshed. Now it will happen with a lot of bloodshed. Maybe they feared a Sunni state and a Iran-leaning Shiite state? Maybe they, in their stupid Neocon minds, thought one state would allow checks and balances.
if obama has his way neither will any media.
The Kurds might actually come out of this with their own country.
That will be anathema to Turkey, so expect NATO to do something.
Would they now be so stupid as to come in on the side of Al Qaeda? I wouldn’t be surprised. That’s how much all these people hate the idea of Kurdistan.
The problem with partition is that it left the Sunni Arab region landlocked with no natural resources, an oil rich Shia region with even stronger ties to Iran and an independent Kurdistan which would drive Turkey nuts. The worst part was that having a bitter(at being deposed by us), dirt poor and loosely governed Sunni Arab state on the Syrian and Jordanian borders wasn’t an ideal outcome for our purposes. We were afraid they might become infiltrated dominated by Islamist elements that would leak back over into Jordan and Syria.
Of course the current situation is far worse, so hindsight is making partition look like the best bet.
Hmm, so it sounds like the problem was the people. Many people on FR said the solution was a “no state” solution: turning Iraq into a parking lot.
“Wow, I didn’t know that. That really changes the calculus over there. At least it will when they actually get the wells on line. “
That won’t happen with ISIS in control. Even the most brazen multinationals like to avoid getting their heads chopped off.
It's so amazingly rare that Biden gets anything right, but yes... those are two points to which I wish Bush had listened. Three homogeneous countries within, say, a loose Iraqi federation could've formed their own governments, with their own militaries, and pursued their own goals. Trying to keep stitched together an artifically formed Iraq was folly.
I was just thinking about that last night. As much as I hate to give Biden the time of day he was prolly right about establishing a 3 region coalition. Even a blind bird gets a worm once in awhile.
The Kurds have and have had an effective army for years and years. That’s why I’m saying, say hello to an Indepenent Kurdistan.
The problem there, is that the government envisioned the new Iraq after US occupation ended as being a strategic counterweight to Iran, as it was in the 1980s. A divided Iraq couldn’t serve that role.
“The problem there, is that the government envisioned the new Iraq after US occupation ended there as being a strategic counterweight to Iran”
Under Shiite rule, that would never happen for Iraq. If anything, they would be a vassal state to Iran. That was a major flaw in U.S. strategic planning.
Nope, you have a pretty good picture of things.
Maybe letting Iraq whither on the vine is actually a devious plot by Obama to get even more Muslim countries, tribes, sects, group, clans and families fighting each other. It's been reported that Turkey has shelled ISIS outside of Mosul, which has also been attacked by the Peshmerga of the Kurds.
No. It's the most peaceful the world has ever been, since Obama has been removing America from the world since January 20th, 2009. This is what success looks like to Obama.
Me too, partition and back the Kurds...
Even if ISIS somehow keeps control of the Sunni provinces, they will need resources. Don’t put it past them to with permission through the tribes, to allow foreign entities to operate oilfields. The tribal leaders there are still a force to be reckoned with.
I believe the Turks will allow some stabilization. They actually get along fairly good with the Kurds and do a LOT of business in Erbil. Don’t forget, this is also blowing up in the Turks faces, since they also supported ISIS. They may have thought they were only going to operate in Syria. Now things are different...We shall see.
Listened to a Kurdish (Iraqi) colonel a year ago, and it was obvious that the man was all in for the KURDS. He was sharp, too.
Those guys are very patriotic for their homeland...over Iraq.
I’d prefer they had their own homeland, because I think they’d be a force for stability. They are Sunnis, the Kurds, but they’ve been downtrodden so long that it would take a few generations, I think, before Islam corrupted their new nation if they were to get one.
WW3 is here....large countries will take over large areas without any hinderance....
America will sit while our prez smokes and does the dirty deed and then golfs....