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Iraqi Kurds would welcome U.S. troops in the north

Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

BEIRUT – Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, would like to see U.S. troops in northern Iraq where the Kurds are predominant, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

That echoed a suggestion U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden recently made that was rejected by Iraq’s Shi’ite prime minister, Nouri al-Makiki. Biden even was barred from visiting the country to deliver that message.

WND/G2Bulletin recently reported that Biden wanted to visit northern Iraq to suggest U.S. troop presence to prevent a potential civil war in that region.

However, al-Maliki nixed that suggestion, saying that the central government was fully capable of handling the problem and that Biden would encourage separation of the country into three distinct areas to give the Shi’ites, Sunnis and the Kurds their respective regions of influence.

Biden has been a long-time proponent of dividing Iraq into three semi-autonomous regions, and it may be a proposal that current Iraqi leaders never have forgotten.

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden proposed to do just that. It was agreed to in a Sept. 25, 2007, non-binding resolution by a full Senate vote of 75 to 23. The resolution envisioned a federal government system in Iraq consisting of separate regions for Iraq’s Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish populations.

Indeed, Biden had made his Iraqi plan the centerpiece of his unsuccessful 2008 bid for the presidency.

At the time, the vote was considered a consensus that the problems in Iraq could not be solved militarily, but might be helped by Biden’s idea of resolving sectarian and ethnic disputes through division.

Sources in Iran, which is allied with the Shi’ite al-Maliki, said the region has been the subject of such sectarian and ethnic tensions and that the Iraqi prime minister was doing “whatever he can to fend off attempts to weaken the country’s unity.”

For his part, al-Maliki is attempting to keep the country together despite conflicting sectarian interests.

The northern region for years has been the subject of not only wanting to separate from the rest of Iraq but wants its own autonomous region to join with Kurds in neighboring countries where large minorities of Kurds reside.

They are Turkey, and the northern portions of Syria, Iraq and Iran.

In addition to all this, however, there is a further split within the Kurdish community between the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, led by Barzani, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK, which is headed by Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani.

Their differences, sources say, could lead to civil war, not only within the Kurdish community but also from a more sectarian perspective of Sunni against Shi’ite.

Sources say that Iran has been pressing to keep out U.S. presence in Iraq and, so far, al-Maliki has gone along with its request.

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