, 30 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
A few comments to follow on political dynamic driving federal Iraqi forces move into Kirkuk, now largely complete today.
First, the operation which began Thurs/Friday was telegraphed ahead of time by PM Abadi as an operation to restore joint control in Kirkuk.
If you thought the op was sudden, not planned by Iraq or out of Abadi's control, see his presser last Tuesday.
See esp mins 15-18. W/o giving details of when & where, Abadi makes clear fed forces will retake control of areas taken in 2014.
I discussed this a few days ago; this should not be new.
One point was Peshmerga did not have to withdraw entirely if they recognized federal authority. Likely referring to Kurdish populated areas.
The Peshmerga has no legal authority to operate outside the KRG, but it has moral authority to protect Kurdish populations.
Abadi's intent to reassert fed authority in disputed areas was noted in Arab media. Not a secret.
And in Iraqi Kurdistan's own Arabic-language media. That the feds were coming was clear.
There were unfortunately some clashes but there is no evidence this was Baghdad's plan. The intent was a coordinated reassertion.
2nd point: this is not about Iran. Support for reassertion of federal authority is 100% from Arab & Turkmen factions.
This is not to deny Kurds' historical claims to Kirkuk. My point is simply that Abadi could not remain PM & not act.
Many observers appear unaware of how strong & broad the reaction is v. Barzani's recent actions. Both nationalists & pro-Iran groups.
To get a sense, watch reaction to Speaker Jiburi's recent trip to Irbil to meet with Barzani. Absoltely ferocious.
You don't need to watch this who video in #pt - start at min 25, go for about an hour until you've heard enough.
Again I'm not saying the Arab view is right - there's a lot of awful stuff being put out on the Arab side - but this is Iraqi nationalism.
Part of what angers Iraqi Shia Arabs so much as that they could have let IS dominate Sunni areas post-2014, but chose to fight.
Also, note parl't Sept 27 demanding this action referred to areas taken in post-June 2014. There is a more aggressive view saying that >
> the Peshmerga should be pushed back to March 2003 lines. But that's not the official Baghdad position. It's June 2014.
Thus I don't see how "assault" is appropriate, as used in this headline. It is a redeployment in federal areas.
A long-term solution will require giving Kirkuk autonomy from both Baghdad & Irbil, but that is harder now. Emotions have grown very hard.
For Abadi, this is a huge win. During the next campaign he will talk up "restoring" what Maliki lost. This ref could have destroyed Abadi.
In terms of US interests, it is thus entirely logical to stand aside & implicitly sanction the operation.
What would be dangerous is if Shia militias approached Kurdish population areas. That would have to be a red line for the US.
Tuz Khurmato shows what happens when it is just the militias. There is no state there, just ethno-sectarian warfare.
Some ill-informed statements by US senators today show the lobbying propaganda campaign worked. This is a bad situation, not an "assault."
For all reasons stated, statements like this have no factual basis, & make no sense from a US interest POV.
We need to disengage from the partisan agendas of the factions involved. With all respect to Kurdish historical claims, total Kurdish >
> control of Kirkuk was never realistic. Iraq would have exploded under Abadi's feet if he'd done nothing in the face of Barzani's rhetoric.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Kirk H. Sowell
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!