News & Events

ARTICLE: What next for Iraq after the failed Kurdish referendum?

By Zaid Al-Ali,  October 29, 2017

AL-JAZEERA: The punditry world has never been as united as it is today: virtually everyone agrees that the independence referendum that was organised on 25 September in Iraqi Kurdistan was an unmitigated disaster. There is also a consensus on what factors caused Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani to miscalculate so badly, so there is little point recounting those arguments here.

The short-term consequences of the crisis also appear to be fairly obvious. Federal authorities, with associated paramilitary forces, will reassert its authority over most if not all of the disputed territories, strategic oil fields, and border points, including airports. Large population centres within the Kurdistan Region proper are unlikely to be directly impacted, but they will be made to feel the economic consequences of the reassertion of federal control. Meanwhile, Kurdish politics have already completely fractured, with the regional president and his party losing virtually all claim to legitimacy (having lost legal legitimacy a long time ago) while a series of actors continue blaming each other for the disaster.

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