Sunday, 5 August 2012

Kurdish brinkmanship eyes balance of power after Assad

Source: The National

The KRG has its eyes fixed on the conflict in Syria, where the country's two million Kurds look to claim a stake in post-Assad Syria.

A weakened regime presents as many opportunities as it does challenges. Just days before threatening to declare independence from Iraq, Mr Barzani admitted that his government had been training Syrian Kurds on Iraqi territory.

The move is ambitious, but stability in Iraq's Kurdish region since 2003, and its rapidly developing energy sector, contrast sharply with the deteriorating security elsewhere in Iraq and across the region. It also establishes Mr Barzani as the most powerful Kurdish leader in the region, in effect expanding his sphere of influence and potentially extending Kurdish autonomy into Syria.

Author: Ranj Alaaldin is a senior analyst with the Next Century Foundation, a conflict-resolution NGO based in London

On Twitter: @ranjalaaldin
Read the full article Kurdish brinkmanship eyes balance of power after Assad

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