WASHINGTON – The chief of the Kirkuk governorate in Iraq has told Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin that the nation isn’t likely to hang together in the end – no matter what happens.
Najmaldin Karim, in fact, is calling for the eventual partition of Iraq, partly because Shiite Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has not implemented the reforms he promised when he took over in 2014 from Nouri al-Maliki, who also had become very unpopular after opposing any effort to include Sunnis in his cabinet.
The nation of Iraq, besides the historic presence of Christians, now is mostly influenced by the fighting between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, as well as the conflict with Kurds in the northern part of the nation, where Karim is governor. Iran is very influential.
Sunnis comprise about a third of the population of Iraq. Many of the Sunni tribes subsequently began to assist ISIS in the predominantly Sunni Anbar province, helping to solidify ISIS’ creation of its caliphate in 2014 incorporating portions of eastern Syria with western Iraq.
In addition, Abadi’s cabinet is fraught with internal bickering and corruption to the point that no decisions can be made.
Karim said the crisis in Iraq is so severe that it has “reached the breaking point.”
He said that U.S. influence in Iraq is “collapsing” across many parts of the country, although it remains significant with the increasingly unpopular Abadi.
“The U.S. has no choice but to support him,” Karim said.
While Abadi isn’t in a strong position, Karim said the Iraqi prime minister will continue to have U.S. backing. At this point, he said, it has little other choice.
He said Abadi has lost much of his support even from the next door Iranians who are Shiite and suggested the U.S. was trying to use Iran to influence the firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a violently anti-U.S. Shiite whose militias recently stormed the Green Zone in Baghdad and took over the parliament for a day before withdrawing.
The overtones are thick in the fight.
Turkey is backing Islamic State commanders who are Sunni Turkmen in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul as Baghdad, the Kurdish Peshmerga and the United States prepare to liberate the city of 2.5 million people, Karim said.
But he said any assault to take back Mosul will not be accomplished without the Kurdish Peshmerga forces who continue to receive U.S. military aid through Baghdad in the Shiite-controlled region of Iraq.
Turkey has sought more of the oil in northern Iraq which is under the authority of the Kurdish Regional Government, or KRG. A pipeline between northern Iraq and Turkey was shut off because of continued instances of sabotage by ISIS.