RealNews

Iraqi Melting Pot Nears Boiling Point

This fabled city of muddy streets and hidden guns, where one person’s folklore is another’s atrocity, has U.S. officials concerned that ethnic tensions could ignite a civil war and spoil plans for a unified Iraq. Rising between the mountains and the desert, Kirkuk and the surrounding region are home to 40% of Iraq’s oil reserves. The city is a strategic foothold in the north for competing Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens. History and myth here are twisted and revised daily over sugared tea. One day Kirkuk appears to be a multiethnic success story; the next it seems to be tumbling into chaos. “Dry kindling is all over the place,” said Col. William Mayville, commander of the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade overseeing Kirkuk. “So you don’t want someone coming in here with matches and making a fire.” Full Story

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