Oct 21, 2017

The failed U.S. attempt at a Kirkuk compromise

Iraqi soldiers remove a Kurdish flag from a checkpoint in Bashiqa, Iraq. Photo: Khalid Mohammed / AP

The U.S. tried to form a compromise between Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Kurdistan Regional Government over the weekend, but ultimately failed, leading to the Iraqi forces overthrowing the Kurds in Kirkuk, according to Bloomberg's Eli Lake.

Why it matters: The compromise would have taken Kurdish control of the K-1 air base outside the city, and suggested a joint administration of the Kurds and Iraqis with a U.S. general. It would've allowed Abadi to "save face...while avoiding the trauma of Iraqi forces taking over" the city. But, Abadi was not convinced, and ultimately ordered troops into Kirkuk.

As Lake writes, "the Kurds have lost their Jerusalem, as Iraqi forces approach what Kurds voted last month should eventually be their independent state's national borders."

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