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Following the Kurdish independence referendum held on September 25, Kurds faced strong pressure from regional states, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey to nullify the results or face a blockade. The Kurdish government in northern Iraq was also pressured by the United States and international powers to postpone the referendum.
Kurdish government led by Masoud Barzani ignored such calls, went ahead with the referendum, the result was 92.7% approval. However, Kurds faced harsh backlash just weeks after the referendum. Iraqi security forces (ISF) along with the Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU) an Iranian proxy, entered Kurdish held territories including Kirkuk an oil rich province. The ISF and PMU continued to advance into Kurdish territories, below the 2004 lines agreed upon with the United States.
As of now Kurds have lost all disputed territories reclaimed during the fight against the Islamic State since 2014. Iran has played an important role in helping the Iraqi government, pushing back US allies, the Kurds and continuing to expand beyond its borders in an attempt to reach the Mediterranean. The Kurdish Peshmerga were the leading force fighting the Islamic State along with the international coalition.
Where does the Trump administration stand? What’s next for the Kurds? What is Israel doing about this?
To answer these questions and more, please join us as we hear from Diliman Abdulkader.
About Diliman Abdulkader: Diliman Abdulkader is a master’s candidate at the School of International Service, American University in Washington, DC. He is studying international affairs – peace and conflict resolution with a focus on global Kurdish studies. He received his BA from the University of Washington on Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PP&E) with a minor in Human Rights. He is a NRT English columnist and has been quoted in various, leading news sites such as Newsweek and has written for Jerusalem Post, The Tower, American Thinker, among others. Abdulkader is also a contributor for Raddington Report. He is a Research Fellow at the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET). Abdulkader was born in Kirkuk, Kurdistan. Follow him on Twitter: @D_abdulkader