Kurdistan exported its first shipment of oil to the international market. What does this mean for Kurdistan's relationship with Baghdad?
For the moment, Baghdad won't be able to stop the Kurdish oil and gas momentum growing in Northern Iraq, Alic writes. Once the pipeline is up and running, the game is over and Baghdad doesn’t have the resources to turn it into a conflict.
The Iraqi central government and authorities of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government put together a seven-point deal last week that could see the Kurds resume oil exports to Iraq in return for a revision of the Iraqi 2013 budget, Alic writes.
BP and Exxon Mobil have taken opposite sides in the escalating conflict over oil between the Iraqi central government and the Iraqi Kurds, Alic writes.
In an interview before he was sentenced to death in absentia, Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi warned Iraq is on a slippery slope to more violence.
Many analysts say the Middle East is the focus of a geopolitical power struggle between the United States and Iran. That misses the primary thread of events – namely, the ongoing soft partition of the Arab republics between Turkey and Iran, with Turkey the stronger power.
US troops are due to leave Iraq by Dec. 31, but this province sees them as a key force for stability. Iraqi leaders agreed this week to begin negotiations that could keep some US troops longer.