16:18 GMT +329 March 2017
    A flag of the autonomous Kurdistan region flies as Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take position to monitor the area from their front line post in Bashiqa, a town 13 kilometres north-east of Mosul (File)

    US 'Only Interested' in Independent Kurdistan Due to Oil, But It Comes at a Cost

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    Oil deposits are the only reason why policymakers in Washington could be interested in supporting Iraqi Kurdistan's aspirations for independence, political analyst Alexander Asafov, an expert on the United States, told RT. But a new state in the Middle East would come at a cost for the US.

    "In the last five years the United States has added oil-rich countries to its sphere of influence. According to its data, there are oil deposits in Kurdish territories that have not been discovered yet. This region is important to the US only in this respect. They can take Iraqi Kurdistan under control, making it dependent on Washington. This step will be made to achieve easier access to the oilfields," he said.

    Asafov added that US foreign policy priorities are likely to change once US President-elect Donald Trump comes to power.

    Trump "clearly said that the United States will no longer carry out regime change operations in other countries, because they are too expansive and unprofitable. This is why they could well leave Iraqi Kurdistan in peace," he said.

    However, if Iraqi Kurdistan succeeds in achieving independence, the United States will most likely have to increase its funding of the newly-minted state.

    "An independent Kurdistan would require significantly more US military aid than current training and equipping. It would also need economic assistance, given the heavy burden of caring for large numbers of Syrian refugees and the exposure of Kurdish finances to booms and busts in energy markets," analysts Steven A. Cook and Eni Enrico Mattei asserted.

    In July 2014, President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on independence in the coming months, saying that Iraq was already divided. The vote has been postponed since Baghdad and Kurdish authorities agreed to focus on the fight against Daesh.

    Iraqi security forces members drive a military vehicle in Qaraqosh, near Mosul, Iraq December 9, 2016
    © REUTERS/ Alaa Al-Marjani
    Iraqi security forces members drive a military vehicle in Qaraqosh, near Mosul, Iraq December 9, 2016

    Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, is reported to be determined to raise the independence issue again once Iraqi security forces and Kurdish militias wrest control of Mosul from the brutal group, which has been in charge in the second largest city in the country since June 2014.

    "This issue will be discussed closely with the Iraqi government after the completion of the operation to liberate Mosul from Daesh. The discussion is expected to help clarify many controversial issues. We want to create an independent Kurdistan as a result of the peace process, without any accidents or clashes," Ali Avni of the Kurdistan Democratic Party told Sputnik.

    Avni added that the Kurds will hold the referendum only if Baghdad is not opposed to the idea.

    According to a report released in November by the RAND Corporation, "Baghdad's ability to prevent the Kurds from gaining independence may be limited," however an amicable divorce will help "Baghdad to mitigate the negative consequences of Kurdish independence and has possible long-term benefits for both parties."

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    independence referendum, US foreign policy, oil, independence, Kurds, Daesh, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq, United States
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    • FeEisi
      The US will be trading the Kurds for Turkey. Russia will be strengthen and the US continue further toward the path of a dwindling power.
    • avatar
      can have kurdistan in Murika .... along with daish etc
    • avatar
      No Kurdistan in Irak and in Syria, if they want a Kurdistan let America give them a state in America.
      Syria and Irak will not be divided, Moscou is not crazy otherwise they will loose Syria.
      Americans already lost in Syria and Irak on the way. America doesn't understand that Shia Muslims are not Sunni Muslims.Shias are not terrorists and they are not Wahabis. They are real Muslims with principals and not terrorists like Sunnis,Alqaeda,Isis,and many others.
    • avatar
      I don't think that the US is after the Oil. Oil is everywhere in the Middle East and Kurdistan Oil is not that much Concerning. In addition the US does already have Iraqi-Kurdistan oil.

      What the US is after in Kurdistan is to establish another Israel-like state in the middle of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria there by undermining those countries from within.
    • avatar
      More than just the oil fields, Kurds are going to shape the middle east like it has never seen , U.S will not keep knocking regimes unless it is so necessary but what's happening that is more important than anything is U.S getting to know Kurds more.

      Kurds seem to be the only light that West , Russia , U.S and even China have left in
      Middle east. NOT only because of the oilfields but more like religion power in the region. People may not know alot about Kurds but they very effective in middle east they have had been in every role when it comes to history events , They were always underestimated by their enemies .

      They were the only allies U.S had when we invaded Iraq , allies that rounds up to 30 million in population without an state and what is the best part of this alliance that U.S has with Kurds is they're payment Which is quote "FREEDOM" which is the best deal Washington can effort, in other hand you have Arab countries or NATO countries like Turkey where we fund them millions of dollars in return to threaten west with refugees

      There is a new state that everyone is looking for that is going to be born in middle east , some radical muslims hope it will be an islamic state and some folks fight for their freedom, knowing that Kurds knocked off ottomans they will win their final war to their independence and so will be the church bells ring again just like anyother religoon to be free in the land of kudos; £Kurdistan.
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