Fragmented Iraq: Conflict Between the Kurds and the Central Government
Iraq’s central government, under Prime Minister Maliki has increasingly been exerting its influence. Recently, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and the central government have come close to open conflict over the question of KRG autonomy. The KRG’s private army, the peshmerga, has been asked to release control of government buildings in a contested area: Khanaqin. The Kurds claim that Khanaqin should fall within Iraqi Kurdistan. The KRG has refused to comply with the central government’s demand for the drawing down of peshmerga from the region, and the Iraqi National Army has been sent in to show just how serious Maliki is on the issue.
It remains to be seen what political or military solution comes out of this.
Al Jazeera has fairly good analysis of the situation on YouTube, with interviews of a spokesman from the KRG, as well as an Arab and US analysts.
Inside Iraq: Part 1
Inside Iraq: Part 2