RealNews

In Iraq, Showdown Looms Over Self-Rule for Kurds

Karzan Kanabi, whose clothing shop attracts young men with its cheap bell-bottom pants, never went to Baghdad, never learned Arabic and never felt the desire to go anywhere he would have to mix with Iraq’s Arab population. “We want Kurdistan to be an independent country,” said Kanabi, 18, who had his Washington-brand jeans trucked in from Turkey, just to the north. He does no business with the rest of Iraq. “We only need Kurdistan.” The nationalist sentiments voiced by Kanabi and many others in this prosperous Kurdish city 200 miles north of Baghdad have become the leading edge of a storm looming over Iraq. After 13 years of quasi-independence — the only regime Kanabi and his peers have known — the 4 million Kurds living under their own government here in the grassy plains and jagged mountains of historical Kurdistan have resolved never to relinquish the self-rule bestowed on them by the United States after the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Full Story

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