Resignation of Kurdish leader Barzani triggers unrest in Iraqi Kurdistan

  • Michaela Ceklová
  • 30.10.2017 14:54

Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani announced on 29 October that he would resign as Kurdistan President by 1 November in the aftermath of the Kurdish referendum on independence that triggered a regional crisis.

The statement triggered a wave of protests and rallies outside the parliament building in Erbil. The Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum launched a chain reaction as Iraq as well as Turkey and Iran, countries with large Kurdish populations, took measures against the region and threatened military escalation. Iraqi units later captured Kurdish-held Kirkuk that was taken by the Kurds from Islamic State (IS) in 2016. The situation in northern Iraq calmed down on 27 October as the Iraqi forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga agreed to suspend the fighting. Whether the truce will remain is unclear. Sharpening disputes between the Kurds and the federal government in Baghdad undermine efforts to combat the IS, as well as the US position in the region since Washington supports both sides.

About author: Michaela Ceklová

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