Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment


Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using





What is at stake for US in Kurdistan’s political turmoil?

By Namo Abdulla 20/10/2015

WASHINGTON - War with the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, is no longer the only enemy for the Kurds, who now find themselves facing an enemy from within.

In recent weeks, Iraqi Kurdistan has fallen into what appears to be the worst political turmoil since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. 

The unity of the semi-autonomous region is now on the brink of collapse due to extraordinary measures taken by the ruling party Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and its leader Masoud Barzani against political rivals.

The KDP ousted cabinet ministers, including the speaker of the regional parliament, who belong to the Goran Party over allegations the opposition party was responsible for bloody protests in Sulaimani province in which KDP offices were torched and at least five people killed. 

The tensions are primarily over the presidency of the Kurdistan region, a position that Goran claims has been held illegally by Barzani since August 19, when his mandate came to an end. 

The KDP is also at odds with the other three major parties, including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of former Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, over how to resolve the presidency issue and what form of political system - presidential or parliamentary- the region should adopt.  

What is at stake for the United States in the Kurdistan region? Should Washington be worried if the stability of one of its most effective partners against ISIS is threatened? And what should it do about it?

To discuss these issues, I am joined by: 

Daniel Serwer, a professor of conflict management at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Serwer served as executive director of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report and worked in the US State Department in the 1990s. 

Mustafa Gurbuz, an international affairs fellow at George Mason University and a research fellow at Rethink Institute. Gurbuz's research focuses on political violence and terrorism, Muslims in the West, and Kurdish movements in the Middle East.


RealityMyFriends | 20/10/2015
"Goran claims has been held illegally by Barzani since August 19" I think you have a very weird definition of "claim". Legally, and legally is all that matters in law remember, you need 56 MPs in Kurdish parliament to extend Massoud Barzani term, you did not get that, so his term expired on 19/09/2015. This is a fact of reality where the word claim cannot properly be used.
Dutchman | 20/10/2015
Don't worry about what is at stake for the US. The Americans will be fine. Worry about what is at stake for Kurdistan.
Is this democracy? | 20/10/2015
You say it yourself. "when his mandate came to an end." There is just no legal solution for him to stay as president. Is that the democracy he tells the world about?
Tags : Kurds

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Muraz Adzhoev | 11/21/2017 11:02:49 AM
It is clear that they want to restore unity and integrity of the Iraqi (pro-Iranian) arab federation in order to “preserve” (autonomous) sovereignty...
duroi | 11/22/2017 5:25:35 AM
There is really no point in shuffling the cabinet which will last few months, a new minister needs several months to get settled and this also...
Gorran in meeting with KRG reiterates dissolution of government
| yesterday at 12:45 | (2)
duroi | 11/22/2017 4:59:58 AM
UNAMI needs to stick to its time limited "advisory and assisting" mandate and advise Iraq to withdraw from disputed areas its Iran backed militias...
Enkiu | 11/22/2017 5:08:59 AM
UN is an irrelevant and corrupt organization. UN ignores crimes or is ineffective in preventing them. UN takes no account of the quality of the court...
UN says referendum issue is resolved, urges KRG to accept court ruling
| 16 hours ago | (10)
Outsider | 11/22/2017 12:24:07 AM
In the medium term, there are only 3 options: (a) accept the demands of Baghdad, (b) cooperate with Iran or (c) cooperate with Turkey. You are...
GUEST2002 | 11/22/2017 2:14:04 AM
what does that even mean?? why not fight the invaders instead?? why just give and give and give?? you gave the shiia jihadis 50 percent of your land...
PM Barzani: We agreed to Iraqi army territorial demands, but within limits
| 19 hours ago | (5)
FAUthman | 11/21/2017 4:26:36 PM
Abadi's statements on the referendum were more reasonable than the those of the federal court: the referendum, Abadi said was no more than a public...
K | 11/21/2017 9:44:00 PM
Kurds ca never be independent by being a pussy. You should have fought to death for a few weeks and the world opinion about how serious Kurds are,...
Masoud Barzani: No court can cancel 3 million votes for independence
| yesterday at 09:38 | (16)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Health of PUK's Kosrat Rasul 'excellent' 16 hours ago | (1)

Health of PUK's Kosrat Rasul 'excellent'

Kosrat Rasul will leave Germany to Kurdistan once more
PM Barzani: We agreed to Iraqi army territorial demands, but within limits 19 hours ago | (5)

PM Barzani: We agreed to Iraqi army territorial demands, but within limits

He says Peshmerga did not withdraw from Kirkuk more
0.235 seconds