Friday, May 4, 2007

All Eyes on Kirkuk

Oil fields of Kirkuk.
(Photo courtesy Jim Gordon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The following article was originally published on ZNet's Iraq Watch:

While the city of Kirkuk has been spared much of the violence engulfing regions further south in Iraq, the threats coming from different groups regarding the city have only been increasing and explicit demands remain uncompromising.  Major tension between Iraqi Kurds and neighboring Turkey has been the most worrisome as both sides threaten armed conflict if their demands are not met.  Both foreign influence and intervention in Iraqhas been of the greatest concerns for U.S. officials and the conflict regarding Kirkuk could be all the same.  The ongoing debate regarding the status of the oil-rich city has consisted of harsh words on all sides, and analysts expect that this year could be either a turning point in Iraq for better or for worse.